BC Ferries to boost service levels as B.C. reopens from COVID-19

BC Ferries is boosting service levels on its busiest route, as the province begins to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company says the changes will only apply to the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route connecting Metro Vancouver with Vancouver Island.

Starting May 15, BC Ferries is adding a 11 a.m. sailing from Swartz Bay and a 1 p.m. sailing from Tswawassen on weekdays.

From May 24 onward, it is also adding a 3 p.m sailing from Tsawwassen and a 5 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay on Sundays.

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And on May 16, the Saturday of the long weekend, it is adding a 7 a.m. sailing from Swartz Bay and a 9 a.m. sailing from Tsawwassen.

BC Ferries says sailings will continue to abide by Transport Canada regulations, requiring vessels to travel at half capacity.

Food and retail outlets aboard BC Ferries, including vending machines, remain closed to promote social distancing and prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

The ferry service is also echoing a call from health officials to avoid all non-essential travel.

However, the company says it continues to monitor traffic and the potential need for more sailings.

BC Ferries has already slashed sailings twice during the pandemic, but withdrew a round of layoffs for ferry staff following a complaint by unionized workers and the federal government’s expansion of wage subsidies.

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