Coronavirus: BC Ferries to Halve Service Levels and Lay Off 1,400 Workers

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BC Ferries is cutting departures to about half of normal seasonal service levels as British Columbians are cutting back on travel during the new coronavirus pandemic.

The company says this decision, which will apply to multiple routes, “will protect the health and safety of communities and ferry workers, ensure the resilience of the coastal ferry service and allow the ferry service to better adapt to demand current ”.

BC Ferries President Mark Collins has said to date that an employee has tested positive for the virus and that three or four others are suspected positive who self-isolate at home.

Collins said the move would result in between 1,000 and 1,400 layoffs.

READ MORE:
Coronavirus: BC Ferries Reduces Vancouver-Victoria Service and Closes Buffets

Our service levels are determined by the coastal ferry service contract with the Province of British Columbia, “said Collins.

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“We are not allowed to descend below these levels without their agreement in this contract. We therefore worked on a modification of this contract to allow us to reduce capacity. ”

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The service changes will take effect on Saturday and will apply for 60 days.










Latest COVID-19 figures in British Columbia


Latest COVID-19 figures in British Columbia

The company says it will monitor traffic closely during this period, but believes the changes will adapt to the flow of essential goods and services.

READ MORE:
Coronavirus: BC Ferries passengers allowed to stay in cars at all bridges during crossings

Provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix called on British Columbia residents on Thursday to avoid non-essential travel, especially in small communities, on Thursday.

This is the second time that BC Ferries has reduced its service levels due to the pandemic.

On March 14, the company announced that it was cutting service between Vancouver and Victoria and closing food buffets on board due to concerns about the coronavirus.

READ MORE:
Coronavirus: BC Ferries passengers allowed to stay in cars at all bridges during crossings

BC Ferries also allows passengers to stay in their vehicles on closed lower decks if they wish.

As of Saturday, April 4, 2020, the service level adjustments are as follows:

  • Regular crossings on Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen – Duke Point are reduced to four round trips per day, compared to eight currently on both routes.
  • Four additional “cargo only” round trips will be provided on the Tsawwassen – Duke Point route to transport essential goods to and from Vancouver Island
  • Service on Langdale – Horseshoe Bay is reduced to six round trips per day instead of the current eight
  • All service on Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo road is suspended
  • All service on Mill Bay – Brentwood Bay road is suspended
  • For northern and mid-coast communities, service will continue to operate at current off-peak service levels (winter). Bella Coola’s direct summer service at the port
    Hardy will not be featured at this time
  • Changes will be made to the Tsawwassen – southern Gulf Islands and Swartz Bay – southern Gulf Islands service. Details are being finalized and will be announced
    soon.

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