BC Ferries expands outdoor pet space pilot to more vessels

BC Ferries expands outdoor pet space pilot to more vessels
BC Ferries/Twitter
Pet owners using the designated outdoor pet space on a BC Ferries vessel.

Pet owners travelling on two more BC Ferries routes have options other than the pet space on the car deck after an expansion of a pilot project.

Outdoor pet areas have now been added to upper decks on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay – Langdale routes.

BC Ferries first launched the pilot project on the Earls Cove – Saltery Bay route in fall 2022 then expanded to the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay and Powell River – Comox routes in spring 2023.

READ PREVIOUS: Cats and dogs allowed on more upper decks in BC Ferries pet pilot

Now the outdoor space has been added to the Queen of Surrey and the Queen of Coquitlam as well.

“Our customers have told us that their pets need a better way to travel and we’ve taken steps to make that a reality. This is great news for customers preparing to travel with pets in the busy spring and summer seasons,” says Melanie Lucia, vice president of customer experience at BC Ferries.

“Thanks to feedback we received from pet owners and other customers, we plan to continue building on that momentum and make our vessels more pet-friendly.”

BC Ferries says an average of 92.5 per cent of customers have positive feedback on the prospect of expanding the outdoor pet areas to other ferries.

The company says it is now eyeing the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route for future expansion of the pilot project.

On the outdoor pet area, pet owners have to keep dogs on a one-metre leash and cats must be in a travel carrier. Pets and their people are expected to use specific staircases to access the pet spaces, which are marked with paw prints. Pet owners with accessibility needs have a designated elevator to use.

The outdoor spaces have waste bags and water bowls provided.

BC Ferries says the number of passengers travelling with pets has almost doubled between 2018 and 2023, rising from 5.5 per cent to 9.9 per cent.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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