Foot-passenger-only ferry favoured by Parksville Qualicum Beach reps

Port authority reaching out to communities to get thoughts on a foot passenger ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver

Would you use a walk-on ferry from downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver?

The Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) is reaching out to communities surrounding the Harbour City — including Parksville Qualicum Beach — to get their thoughts on a foot passenger ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver.

“I think there’s a huge opportunity there,” said Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) chair Bill Veenhof. “You can see how with something like that you can connect your transit system to it. Already in the far reaches in (Deep Bay/Bowser) we have transit that connects to Nanaimo. It doesn’t take a great stretch to say you could connect Courtenay and Comox.”

Veenhof said it would have a positive impact on tourism, providing another connection to Vancouver Island.

“It would be awesome if we could have a fast foot passenger ferry from Nanaimo,” he said. “If the service was there and it saved people time I can see how people would use it.”

Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek echoed Veenhof.

“I think that would be a great asset certainly for Nanaimo but also for everyone else (in surrounding communities),” said Westbroek, noting it would be an affordable option for riders as well as an environmentally-conscious choice.

In December, the City of Nanaimo announced it would partner with the port authority in a request for proposals (RFP) for a foot passenger only ferry.

“Council is looking forward to working with the NPA through the RFP process to identify an operator for the foot passenger ferry. This project is a priority for both organizations,” said Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay in a statement. “We hope to have a foot ferry operating from the NPA Cruise Ship Terminal by the end of 2016.”

Port authority CAO Bernie Dumas said the organization is reaching out to surrounding towns and cities to “see how important a passenger-only ferry would be… and more importantly to understand and learn what the connectivity of the surrounding communities are.”

Dumas said letters have been sent out to mayors and councils of mid-Island communities and so far the response has been “very positive.”

“We just want to sit down and talk to the surrounding communities to see their ideas, to see if we can incorporate it,” he said. “The big thing for the Port is the connectively.”

“How best can we bring people in and out to maximize service.”

Dumas said he’s hoping to wrap up discussions with surrounding communities in February and then start “seriously looking and talking to potential operators.”

Details of the project depend largely on the proposals that come forward through the RFP process.

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

Just Posted

Petition underway to get RDN to improve Sandpiper water quality

Campaign urges regional district to make issue a priority

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

COVID-19: Some gyms re-open in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Fitness facilities create space to allow appropriate social distancing

PQB grads can display signs on their lawns

‘2020 Graduate Lives Here’

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to

Most Read