Remember how many times the City refused to acknowledge the Q2Q Ferry option at the public discussions regrading the proposed ‘Bridge to Queensborough’? Well, it seems they have had a change of heart. What was ‘impossible’ due to currents, boat construction and other reasons, the City has dropped its opposition to the ferry option and is moving forward – rapidly it seems – with a trail run.
The New West Record, has released a story July 28 with the trail details. Read the story below.
Q2Q ferry trial run to begin this weekend
Dock installation and testing still to be completed
Grant Granger / New West Record
July 28, 2017 11:50 AM
The Q2Q ferry should become a reality this weekend, although initially it will have a short run.
A free preview weekend is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, but there are still some bugs being worked out before the service that will shuttle passengers between the Westminster Quay and Queensborough can begin leaving the dock.
The city has announced a demonstration service will be offered on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays through August and September.
When roadblocks developed over council’s desire to have a pedestrian and cycling bridge between the communities, the city decide to test drive a ferry service. Originally the intent was to provide a water taxi service, said New Westminster strategic initiatives and sustainability manager Mark Allison. But when a 40-passenger ferry that can also accommodate four bicycles, became available the city decided to give it a go.
“A larger vessel will allow us to handle more people if there’s more demand,” said Allison.
The city announced the service this (Friday) morning, but Allison said the downtown dock is still being installed. The dock was built by Balance Industries in Sannichton and ran into some head winds in Georgia Straight while being transported to New West Thursday night. That put the the prematurely announced start of the demonstration service of 9 a.m. Saturday in jeopardy.
“We’re crossing our fingers,” said Allison Friday morning. “The dock will be arriving shortly, and we’ll be proceeding with the installation. Once we’re sure everything fits and is safe, and we have a chance to do some test dockings with our ferry boat then we’ll confirm our service.”
He said the hope is to get the service running in time for the Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival that begins Saturday at 4 p.m.
The downtown dock will be underneath the Inn at the Quay beside the Samson V boat museum. The existing public dock in Port Royal on the south side of the peninsula, just off of Salter Street, will be used on the Queensborough side.
This weekend’s runs are free. But starting next weekend, fares will be $2 for adults (16-plus), $1 for seniors and children, and free for those under five. Exact change will be required at the dock, but ferry tokens for the service can be purchased at the Anvil Centre, Queensborough Community Centre or Tre Galli Gelato in River Market.
Regular service will start next weekend, Aug. 4 to 7. There will be Friday runs between 5 and 9 p.m. in August to shuttle those wishing to attend Fridays on Front.
For the rest of the weekend, the sailings will be every 20 minutes from each dock starting at 9 a.m. downtown, and 9:10 a.m. from Port Royal. They will run until 7 p.m., although there will be no sailings from each side four times to allow for crew breaks. Those times (10;40 a.m., 1:20, 1:40 and 4:40 p.m. from downtown and 10:50 a.m., 1:30, 1:50, and 4:50 p.m.) will be listed on sign boards at the dock.
“It’s a demonstration service that will allow people to get familiar with the service, the connection,” said Allison.
The city will conduct customer surveys during the trial period to see how much it would be used, who would use it and what type of service is preferred.
The ferry will be run by Western Pacific Marine. It operates the Barnston Island ferry in the Fraser River along with two ferries in the Kootenays and one that connects Parksville/Qualicum Beach to Lasqueti Island.
© 2017 New West Record