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West Shore Express Passenger Ferry | Royal Bay to Victoria


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#1 amor de cosmos

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 08:32 AM

West Shore water link proposed
Activist says commuter ferry would follow shortest route

By Richard Watts, Times Colonist
March 13, 2009

When the shortest route lies over water, the best mode of commuter transit could be a boat.

That's the thinking behind activist John Turner's plan for a commuter ferry linking the West Shore with the Inner Harbour.

Instead of travelling down the Trans-Canada Highway, around Esquimalt Harbour and into Victoria, boat commuters would traverse a much more direct route past the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour into downtown.

Turner, founder of a Christian social agency called Gap Ministries Foundation, has been talking to municipal councils, officials and community groups trying to raise support.

So far, however, the proposal has been met mostly with skepticism from those who work close to the

water or are familiar with local mass-transit proposals.

Paul Servos, chief executive officer of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority Society, said any business model for a West Shore-Victoria passenger ferry just doesn't add up.

"We have a lot of exceptional operators in the harbour and they aren't looking at it because it's a very difficult business model," said Servos.

For example, he said, a commuter service must be reliable and on-time, regardless of weather, but storms and sea conditions make that impossible for a boat.

A commuter boat also requires dock facilities and other supporting structure, like roads or parking lots.

"It would be a good idea, but challenging. That's why nobody has done it yet," said Servos.

Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt is already running a small water-taxi style service from the Department of National Defence property in Colwood to the Dockyard in Esquimalt, however. And it's regarded as a success.

The boats, capable of carrying 67 people, make several trips in the morning and afternoon, taking an estimated 250 cars off the Colwood Crawl each day.

Joanna Morton, B.C. Transit spokeswoman, said the idea of an expanded commuter ferry from West Shore to downtown has captured some interest.

Morton said it's being considered as part of the Victoria Regional Rapid Transit Project now in the planning and consultation phase.

But Geoff Young, a long-time Victoria councillor and now chairman of the Capital Regional District, said he continues to put his faith in land-based rapid transit, buses and light rail.

"People have observed that, 'Yes, it's a shorter distance and yes, it appears that it could make sense,' " said Young. "But the financial costs are such that the short savings in distance you make don't offset the cost."

http://www.timescolo...html?id=1384974

#2 Bernard

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:33 AM

Unless a ferry service is integrated into BC Transit, meaning there is a subsidy for the operations, this is not going to happen.

I do think that a transit ferry service from the Westshore to downtown makes sense.

I also think that a ferry service on the Gorge and in the Inner Harbour/Outer Harbour would make a lot of sense. But once again, it would need to be operated as part of the existing transit service to be viable.

#3 UrbanRail

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:39 AM

You have to give John Turner credit for pursuing this and not giving up. I have helped him on several occasions, including several presentations (putting together his most recent one on the ferries). He is very motivated.

#4 G-Man

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:46 AM

I can't imagine heading to work on a dark stormy December day in a boat from Sooke to Downtown.

#5 amor de cosmos

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:09 AM

I can't imagine heading to work on a dark stormy December day in a boat from Sooke to Downtown.


isn't that what the Seabus passengers do in Vancouver?

#6 Rob Randall

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:30 AM

"Motivated" is an understatement. Turner insists that this ferry scheme will be so successful, the profits will be used for solving homelessness.

“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”


#7 Bernard

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:25 PM

isn't that what the Seabus passengers do in Vancouver?


Burrard Inlet is very sheltered. the open water from Sooke to Victoria is a very different situation.

I suspect Colwood - Downtown would be more realistic and less likely to be weather hampered.

Even an expansion of the Blue Boat service would beneficial if the general public could use it and it connected to BC Transit on both ends. I realize this could be an issue because it is a military base, but if there were some way to deal with this, it would provide a decent link.

#8 gumgum

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:46 PM

This will never happen. It's just not feasible.

#9 UrbanRail

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:48 PM

I would suspect that a ferry service from Colwood to Victoria would be more realistic than say from Sooke to Victoria. Land based transit should be top priority, but if a ferry service could be started, I say go for it.

#10 Bernard

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 11:48 AM

I would suspect that a ferry service from Colwood to Victoria would be more realistic than say from Sooke to Victoria. Land based transit should be top priority, but if a ferry service could be started, I say go for it.


The problem remains that I mentioned before, you have DnD land and that can not allow general public on it without some sort of scrutiny.

I personally would really love to see a Gorge water based transit, but then I am biased, it would serve me well and I would enjoy being on the water.

#11 vandervalk

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:09 PM

I can't imagine heading to work on a dark stormy December day in a boat from Sooke to Downtown.


I volunteer with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in Sooke and I can assure you that the sea conditions around Beechy Head and Race Rocks would quickly put a stop to reliable and frequent trips.

I also wonder what the hundreds of fishing boats and charters would think of passenger vessels this size storming through the area.

It takes at least 45 minutes to get into Victoria from Sooke in rescue vessel, and that is pushing 35knts.

Consider the wait in line to board a ferry and to exit a ferry plus the slow speed in and out of both harbours and we are talking about a 1.5 hour trip.
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#12 Caramia

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 04:54 PM

Remember when Chris Gower proposed the Portage Canal idea for the 2020 visioning exercise? The canal would have made an "inside passage" commuter loop possible.
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#13 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 05:18 PM

Remember when Chris Gower proposed the Portage Canal idea for the 2020 visioning exercise? The canal would have made an "inside passage" commuter loop possible.


This would be awesome, I have always loved the idea.

#14 jklymak

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 05:32 PM

That does sound cool. However, I seem to remember some serious concerns about changing the circulation so profoundly.

#15 Caramia

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 07:59 PM

Yes, in the visioning piece he posed this cool lock system to deal with those problems. You want to avoid changing the salt and fresh water areas.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#16 jklymak

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:45 PM

Is there a link to this somewhere? Google failed me..

#17 UrbanRail

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 10:41 PM

There are a lot of good points being made.

Weather can really be a problem, especially on the water and the DND lands pose a problem due to security concerns.

I cant remember if John Turner has looked into the DND situation. I think he said that the ferries he is looking at are sea worthy, but I would have to ask him again.

When I helped him do a presentation in front of BC Transit, there seemed to be interest there. Enough interest in fact that it is now part of the rapid transit study being done for the region.

#18 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:37 PM

Cfax1070 reports that Victoria Harbour Ferries has permanently cancelled its Blue Line ferry service for Esquimalt dockyard workers and military members, citing a decline in passenger loads.

CFB Esquimalt confirms it learned of the cancellation on Monday of this week.
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#19 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 03:53 PM

A pre-feasibility study for a passenger ferry from the West Shore to downtown Victoria has been submitted to BC Ferries.

The 201-page study, called the Westshore Express Passenger Ferry pre-feasibility study, was commissioned by BC Ferries last year and completed by SNC Lavalin and Steer consultants. BC Ferries received the study on March 5 and is only determining the feasibility of a passenger ferry and a decision has not been made.

 

 

 

 



#20 Nparker

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 03:58 PM

Chitty Chiity Bang Bust.



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