BC Ferries crossings are pre-booked – and this frustrates regular users – .

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BC Ferries crossings are pre-booked – and this frustrates regular users – .


Since the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted weeks ago, it has become increasingly difficult for Stephanie Parsons, the owner of Island Designated Drivers Ltd., to run her business.

Parsons transports cars between the island and the mainland to car dealerships and relies on BC Ferries to do so, but as more tourists travel by boat, there is less space on board for their vehicles.

“Waiting times on long weekends like this Friday [are] probably four to six hours, ”she said, adding that she was considering shutting down her business on long weekends due to the unbearably long wait times.

Parsons also said booking a reservation was not an option.

“We don’t know from day to day what our schedules will look like. We have no idea what time we will be arriving at the ferries and we have problems getting on the ferries, ”she explained.

With more and more people booking in advance, Parsons staff are frustrated with spending hours waiting their turns.

“Summer is always popular for BC Ferries and we are approaching the long weekend. Much of the reservation space has been fully subscribed. People book well in advance for the long weekend while they plan their trip, ”said Deborah Marshall, general manager of public affairs for BC Ferries.

It’s a luxury that Parsons doesn’t have.

She wants small businesses like hers to be a priority, especially since her business spends nearly $ 50,000 a month traveling by ferry.

“We don’t want to say anything. We are like everyone else [but nobody] others contribute to the ferry revenues as we do all year round, ”she said.

BC Ferries said the percentage of deck space available for bookings ranges from 45% to 75% depending on the boat and / or vessel, with a charge of $ 17.

“Sometimes we have wait times during peak periods and of course summer is a peak time for BC Ferries,” Marshall said. “If a customer chooses not to make a reservation, they may want to travel during off-peak times. “

Parsons said cost is not the issue, but that she cannot predict when the cars will be delivered and given the time sensitive nature of her work, it is not ideal to travel during periods of time. off-peak hours.

She wants a viable solution for her business – a way to travel on the ferry at the last minute, especially as new travel restrictions will be lifted in the coming weeks.

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