A four-sailing wait on Oct.19 at the BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal. (Hugo Wong/News staff)

A four-sailing wait on Oct.19 at the BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal. (Hugo Wong/News staff)

BC Ferries predicts potential travel trends for 2020

With more than 22 million travellers in 2018, infrastructure looks at accommodating ride-sharing

With a record-breaking year of vehicle traffic behind them, BC Ferries is looking toward the future and their near-record breaking amount of overall passengers boarding their vessels.

More than 22 million passengers sailed on BC Ferries ships in fiscal 2018, reaching a 20-year high.

While more than 8.7 million vehicles also made the voyage, it’s the increasing foot passengers BC Ferries has its eye on.

“We almost hit our record number ever of passengers, just not quite. We might hit it this year, we’ll see,” BC Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins said. “Certainly, traffic is approaching historic highs for the ferry system.”

He said the surge in passengers is partly because of the fare freezes, economy and lower fuel prices encouraging more travel, but increasing popularity of ride-hailing apps could also be the cause.

While Uber is not yet offered in Vancouver or Victoria, apps such as Zipcar are named in BC Ferries’ Performance Term Five Submission to the Commissioner, which would begin in 2020. The company anticipates there will be more walk-on passengers than those travelling by vehicle if they’re using ride-sharing apps to and from the terminals, but not taking them onboard.

READ MORE: UBER Eats food delivery launches in Greater Victoria

“We look down the road at trends, development and the economy, technology and things like that to make sure we’re considering everything that could influence our infrastructure decisions. Ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles are two emerging trends which we’re watching very carefully. I can’t say for sure where they’re going to go, but what we can see is one possibility is that people may move more and more over to ride-hailing services and autonomous vehicles and own fewer cars,” Collins said.

“It’s a possibility, then that could have big implications for the ferry system.”

BC Ferries models such scenarios drawing up potential accommodations. In Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen terminals, Collins said that could include more waiting areas with more refreshment services and seating, different check-in systems, and potentially more green space.

“Where do those cars go when they’re dropping people off? Will there need to be smart technology on the terminals to facilitate the movement of driverless vehicles? All of these things have a big impact on our infrastructure, so we spend some time thinking about those possible futures,” Collins said. “There’s always some waiting associated with getting on the ferry because you have to wait for it to dock, walk on board and things like that, so we want to do what we can to make it more pleasant for the travellers.”

READ MORE: Debit now accepted onboard BC Ferries


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCFerries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Traffic waits at the intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue. A study found failing levels of service at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left-moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Province supports potential interim improvements to Sidney intersection

Province says interchange is the long-term plan for intersection of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read