Ferry service returns to Esquimalt

The little green harbour ferries are once again stopping by Esquimalt’s Westbay Marine Village.

Twenty-two years of ferry service to the township was halted last August after a dispute arose between the Victoria Harbour Ferry Company and the marina company.

The matter was resolved in time to offer rides in September before the service was shut down for the winter, said Barry Hobbis, Victoria Harbour Ferry Company vice-president of operations. He declined to provide details about the dispute.

Pick-up and drop-off service in the municipality resumed April 1.

“I think it’s an absolutely critical part of the 17 places that we stop at around the harbour,” said Hobbis.

“It’s a commitment that we made three years ago … that we would provide the community with an opportunity for alternative transportation to downtown.”

The ferry caters to more than 200,000 passengers every year, two-thirds of whom are tourists and the rest commuters.

“(Commuters are) a growing part of our business and we recognize that Esquimalt is an important part of that,” Hobbis said. “We have people who commute from Esquimalt to downtown and vice versa.”

“Let’s not forget it’s an access point for tourists for Esquimalt,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. “I’m very pleased to have it come back again.”

For scheduling information details, please visit www.victoriaharbourferry.com.

emccracken@vicnews.com