Congratulations for making BC Ferries (BCF) safe for your customers, which is very important. I am sure you will be justly rewarded for your efforts by the BCF board when you step down in 2017.
Equally as important as safety, however, is customer service, which, you must be aware, is quite appalling on the Langdale/Horseshoe Bay sailings. As residents of the Sunshine Coast and frequent users of BCF, we have watched the service levels steadily deteriorate to new lows in 2016. This year increased volumes of passengers have led to sailing waits, late ferries, and a full parking lot at Langdale. It seems that the ferries’ response has been to micromanage the sailing schedules to the point of exhaustion with absolutely no improvement in service.
Now, when we want to visit our grandchildren in Vancouver, we arrive in Langdale at least an hour prior to sailing time. Of course, we could reserve a spot for an extra $15 to $22, but even then we must still be at the dock 45 minutes to 60 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing time. Since the ferry has frequently been running 30 minutes behind schedule, we still have to be at the dock 75 minutes to 90 minutes before actual sailing time. Still, we do have other options. We could plan to walk on – but hold it; the parking lot at Langdale is probably full and we would have to return home. What we desperately need is hourly sailings. Yes, it would require another ferry, but surely at a fraction of the cost of building a fixed link to the mainland?
It would be nice if the billboards on our ferries offering 50 per cent savings on extra length charges were taken down. Sounds great, but if you look closely it is only valid on the Vancouver Island runs! Also, you could eliminate the PA announcement which thanks us for choosing BCF. As if we have a choice?
Martin and Deirdre Mendes, Sechelt