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[Marine] Belleville Terminal and Coho/Clipper services


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#61 Sparky

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:03 PM

For those of you that have not had the opportunity to visit the Victoria Clipper Terminal lately, I thought I should wander by there today and share some visuals in order to put this topic in perspective.

The topic is that a private American company has deemed that the terminal that they are using in Victoria is "embarrassing". They have posted a sign on the exterior of our building stating that fact and suggesting that we contact our premier, our mayor, and provincial cabinet member in order (one would suppose) to convince them to upgrade the facility with our tax dollar. The sign suggests that this company has been asking for this upgrade for the most part of the 18 years that they have been in business.

Let's have a look, shall we?

To start with city crews have recently improved the sidewalks in the area complete with a new set of concrete stairs from the street to the terminal.



There is plenty of nice green space to lounge on if you happen to be early for your sailing or waiting for arrivals.



There is plenty of parking to drop of or pick up a passenger.



And the interior of the terminal appeared clean and adequate.



The building has adequate fire protection.



And in all fairness, it's not used that much. The float plane terminal has a lot more traffic.



Some might say that this company has a prime location in this harbour, complete with building and facilities that are not all that embarrassing, and might take exception to that claim.

#62 SamCB

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:47 PM

The building (looks more like a trailer) is a dump. I'm surprised the regular suspects on this forum think it's good enough to represent a tourist's first view of victoria on land.

#63 sebberry

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:55 PM

I don't know. It's certainly not as nice as a the Swartz Bay terminal but I'm sure there are plenty Greyhound bus terminals around Canada and the US that don't look too much different from our Clipper terminal.

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#64 Sparky

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

The building (looks more like a trailer) is a dump. I'm surprised the regular suspects on this forum think it's good enough to represent a tourist's first view of victoria on land.


So write them a cheque. You should visit their terminal in Seattle.

#65 Bingo

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:29 AM

I agree Sparky, the Victoria terminal appears fine to accommodate a few dozen passengers. Directional arrows on floor to conveniently located washrooms.

I don't believe Clipper has one or two sailing waits, so what's the fuss about.

Video of the Seattle Clipper Terminal.
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=FBscGiDOr0g




#66 Holden West

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:35 AM

The Birdcages were clean and adequate before the Legislature was built. There were perfectly acceptable hotels on the edge of the mudflats that were convenient and not embarrassing before the Empress was built. We have to put a stop to the replacement of perfectly functional and adequate buildings on our harbour. Have we forgotten Victoria's motto: "We Liked The Old One Better"?
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#67 aastra

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:54 AM

I'm sure there are plenty Greyhound bus terminals around Canada and the US that don't look too much different from our Clipper terminal.


Victoria's bus terminal, on the other hand...

#68 HB

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:48 AM

The Birdcages were clean and adequate before the Legislature was built. There were perfectly acceptable hotels on the edge of the mudflats that were convenient and not embarrassing before the Empress was built. We have to put a stop to the replacement of perfectly functional and adequate buildings on our harbour. Have we forgotten Victoria's motto: "We Liked The Old One Better"?


We will be talking about the museum like that too

#69 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:56 AM

It's a facility that serves a single user. I have no idea of how rents are collected etc. but it's very different than an airport.
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#70 Mike K.

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for the photos, Sparky.

What does Clipper expect? Do they expect us to build them a brand new building so that their single daily sailing (for most of the year) offers their customers a world-class waiting lounge?

The flagship terminal for Clipper is Seattle's Pier 69. They can start by renovating that facility and bringing it up to a level above that of Victoria's terminal. Right now both facilities are head-to-head in terms of ambiance and presentation.

What if we start complaining about the interiors of their vessels? I'd say those boats haven't had a refit since the 1980's.

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#71 Greg

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:22 AM

For those of you that have not had the opportunity to visit the Victoria Clipper Terminal lately, I thought I should wander by there today and share some visuals in order to put this topic in perspective.

The topic is that a private American company has deemed that the terminal that they are using in Victoria is "embarrassing". They have posted a sign on the exterior of our building stating that fact and suggesting that we contact our premier, our mayor, and provincial cabinet member in order (one would suppose) to convince them to upgrade the facility with our tax dollar. The sign suggests that this company has been asking for this upgrade for the most part of the 18 years that they have been in business.

Let's have a look, shall we?

To start with city crews have recently improved the sidewalks in the area complete with a new set of concrete stairs from the street to the terminal.

There is plenty of nice green space to lounge on if you happen to be early for your sailing or waiting for arrivals.

There is plenty of parking to drop of or pick up a passenger.

And the interior of the terminal appeared clean and adequate.

The building has adequate fire protection.

And in all fairness, it's not used that much. The float plane terminal has a lot more traffic.

Some might say that this company has a prime location in this harbour, complete with building and facilities that are not all that embarrassing, and might take exception to that claim.


Wow, a lot of selective reasoning there. Not used much compared to the float planes? Because there are more float plane landings than Clipper sailings? A float plane carries the same number of passengers as the Clipper in your thinking?

Plenty of room? You shoot a picture of the folding chairs inside the trailer when the building is empty and refer to it as having plenty of room? Have you ever made your way through that building when there is an actual sailing? It is crowded, and very uncomfortable.

Wanting tax dollar support? Compared to what, all the recent airport improvements and the new interchange on the Pat Bay Highway?

Whether they are right to post that bulletin or not, the bulletin is a fair less slanted piece of propaganda than the above post. :)

[Clipper sailings vary from one to three per day, seasonally, with extra ships sometimes put on for occasions and charters, they average about 1.5 sailing per day annualized, and the ships, which are often sold out, hold around 300 passengers. So the facility is in fact crowded, and the number of customers served compares favorably to the float planes. FWIW.]

#72 jonny

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

What if we start complaining about the interiors of their vessels? I'd say those boats haven't had a refit since the 1980's.


LOL true enough.

Clipper is a relatively small company. They operate a private business which uses public assets. (I don't care if it's American, Canadian or Jamaican like some others)

The are free to make leasehold improvements, as far as I know, and should feel free to do so if they feel as though they are necessary and/or will drive incremental revenue. In short, if they can build an internal business case to invest in capital land improvements, then they should go ahead and do so with their own financing. Whining for a government cash grab is just lame.

For the record, I have used Clipper twice and didn't have a problem with any of their facilities. The terminals and vessel all seemed adequate and functional to me. These are not prestigious facilities by any stretch of the imagination, but then again I was not paying prestigious level prices for my short trip either.

#73 jonny

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:41 AM

I guess I see a new terminal and improved surroundings as a benefit for the city not the travellers that go through it. This is a key piece of the harbour and one that should allow the citizens to access it in some way. Add in some new retail/conference/hotel space and this could be a harbour destination that would further improve the tourist product of the city for all vistors and citizens. But since we feel that having waterfront parking lots are okay I do not foresee change here anytime soon.


A shiny new downtown terminal sure would be nice, but I'd hate to see our local government throw $20M, $30M, or whatever the number would be for so few passengers and such little benefit. The harbour already is a harbour destination, and I don't think "improving" this area would do much to make the harbour more of a destination. We already have more than enough unused hotel and conference space, so where's the demand coming from? Are Black Ball and Clipper all of a sudden going to be willing to pay massive landing fees to fund all of these improvements? Do we want municipal taxes to fund all of this?

If there was a private developer who wanted to spend tens of millions redeveloping the land, I'd be all over the harbour authority and the city taking a serious look at it. As far as public funding goes, there is absolutely no urgency. The land is functional, and honestly I haven't heard anybody say that the Coho, Clipper or associated lands are an eyesore in our "working harbour".

#74 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:56 AM

^^^ it's not a trailer. And I'm sure PCC would not object to them installing some nice seating, on the Clippers tab.
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#75 G-Man

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

I completely disagree with all of you. I mean this is not about the Clipper, this is about a piece of my city's waterfront that I don't like. Through a well developed P3 we could see a great modern facility that would cost taxpayers little and could add a tonne of retail, hotel and conference space. A couple of nice 14 to 16 storey towers with a modern podium and public walkway along the perimeter and terminal facilities underground would be amazing.

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#76 aastra

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:48 AM

I think we've got two camps here talking about two different things.

Camp 1 says:
the little ferry companies are adequately served by the current facilities

Camp 2 says:
prime inner harbour waterfront spaces should be attractive and interesting

It's true that the current terminal area works fine as a basic terminal area. But that's no different than saying the Wharf Street parking lots work fine as parking lots. They sure do. But if we're honestly examining these spaces and evaluating how they fit in the larger inner harbour scene then methinks it should be painfully obvious that there's massive room for positive change.

#77 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:07 PM

But if we're honestly examining these spaces and evaluating how they fit in the larger inner harbour scene then methinks it should be painfully obvious that there's massive room for positive change.


Perhaps, but with scarce resources, I don't know how it should be a high priority.
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#78 G-Man

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:47 PM

^ P3 P3 P3 :)

Sell our souls to Westin or Hilton. Combine that with a move of the Victoria Conference Centre and a selling of the land behind the Empress. Put in a world class high end Casino. There are numerous ways this can be paid for without touching "scarce resources".

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#79 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:51 PM

^ P3 P3 P3 :)

Sell our souls to Westin or Hilton. Combine that with a move of the Victoria Conference Centre and a selling of the land behind the Empress. Put in a world class high end Casino. There are numerous ways this can be paid for without touching "scarce resources".


AGREED. I have been calling for a casino since before we let one go to View Royal.
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#80 Mike K.

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:32 PM

The are free to make leasehold improvements, as far as I know, and should feel free to do so if they feel as though they are necessary and/or will drive incremental revenue. In short, if they can build an internal business case to invest in capital land improvements, then they should go ahead and do so with their own financing. Whining for a government cash grab is just lame.

For the record, I have used Clipper twice and didn't have a problem with any of their facilities. The terminals and vessel all seemed adequate and functional to me. These are not prestigious facilities by any stretch of the imagination, but then again I was not paying prestigious level prices for my short trip either.


Absolutely!

The facilities are fine and you're not at the terminal for more than 1 hour, max, unless you're one of those folks who love to arrive extra extra early before departing on a trip.

Wow, a lot of selective reasoning there. Not used much compared to the float planes? Because there are more float plane landings than Clipper sailings? A float plane carries the same number of passengers as the Clipper in your thinking?

...

[Clipper sailings vary from one to three per day, seasonally, with extra ships sometimes put on for occasions and charters, they average about 1.5 sailing per day annualized, and the ships, which are often sold out, hold around 300 passengers. So the facility is in fact crowded, and the number of customers served compares favorably to the float planes. FWIW.]


The Clipper's capacity on its two Victoria-Seattle vessels is 300 and 330 passengers. In the winter months when I've traveled on the smaller boat it was barely 50% full. Yes, there are plenty of times when the Clipper is at capacity but that's still only 330 maximum passengers (and I've only experienced such a sailing once; the other dozen or so had ample capacity). Let's say for the sake of argument each of three peak summer sailings (22 June - 25 August) is 100% full using the 300 and 330 passenger boats, that's a maximum daily arriving and departing passenger count of 660x2 + 600x1 or 1,920 passengers, and that's only possible for a two month period of the year. For four months Clipper can transport a maximum of 1,320 and six months a maximum of 660 passengers per day.

That's a maximum capacity, best case scenario with a 100% annual seat sell-out of 393,000 passengers, give or take.

Float planes (not including Helijet) transport [edited] 200,000-250,000 passengers annually (Harbour Air alone has 70 scheduled flights M-F between April and September, and that's not including charters). Victoria International serves on average over 4,000 passengers every single day of the year and needs a far larger and more accessible/modern facility than either the Clipper or floatplanes.

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