BC Ferries to offer free menstrual products on vessels, gender neutral bathrooms

BC Ferries to offer free menstrual products on vessels, gender neutral bathrooms
Ferries enter the BC Ferries terminal in Nanaimo.

BC Ferries will be offering free menstrual products onboard its vessels and at its terminals starting this summer, and will introduce gender neutral bathrooms.

On Tuesday, the company announced it was joining the United Way BC’s Period Promise campaign, which aims to make menstrual products free and accessible across B.C. so that people who menstruate can easily attend work, school and their community.

In 2022, research conducted by the United Way found that roughly half of everyone who menstruates has struggled to pay for menstrual products in their lifetime, with over a quarter having gone through an entire period with access to any menstrual products.

For years, organizations have been joining the Period Promise campaign. In 2019, the City of Victoria began offering free menstrual products at its facilities, while the Greater Victoria Public Library began offering free products in 2023.

Last year, the City of Colwood and West Shore Parks and Recreation also joined the Period Promise campaign, and on Wednesday the District of Central Saanich also announced it would be offering free mensural products at washrooms at its facilities.

General neutral bathrooms

On Tuesday, BC Ferries also announced it was launching gender neutral bathrooms across its fleet and terminals.

Starting this summer, BC Ferries will convert more than 300 single-use washrooms, that are used by both the public and employees, into gender neutral washrooms.

The company also plans to add Braille washroom signs across its fleet, with full implementation complete by spring 2025.

“These initiatives are more than just enhancements to our services; they represent our ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive environment that respects the diverse needs of all our customers,” said Lindsay Matthews, vice president of public affairs and marketing at BC Ferries.


Adam ChanAdam Chan

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