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.

Just Posted

Motorcyclist collides with bear in Coombs

The man was transported to hospital

PHOTOS: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Stan Chong, brother to legendary comedian Tommy, dies at age 82

Parksville resident loved family, scuba diving and umpiring

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Most Read