BC Ferries will add one cargo run between Nanaimo and Greater Victoria as the region grapples with a bottlenecked Malahat Highway, squeezing the local supply chain.
The announcement comes after the province enacted a State of Emergency Wednesday to deal with devastating province-wide flooding that has damaged highways.
BC Ferries confirmed to CHEK News it was working on a mid-day run for Thursday that would see cargo and passengers transported between Swartz Bay and Duke Point on the Coastal Celebration.
The vessel accomodates around 310 automobile equivalents and 1,604 passengers and crew, with a travel time of about three hours.
The service will provided to drive-up customers on a first-come, first-serve basis and reservations will not be offered.
The ferry will depart Swartz Bay at 12:30 p.m. and will then depart Duke Point at 4 p.m.
The South Island has seen long line-ups at gas stations as deliveries from north of the Malahat trickle through. The highway will be closed nightly from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and open to single-lane alternating traffic in 30-minute intervals during the day as repairs get underway.
Fewer details on BC’s gasoline supply, after the @TransMtn pipeline (BC’s major supply) going dark for several days and lineups at some empty gas stations. @mikefarnworthbc says emergency act and fed assistance will help secure gas supply, encourages ppl again not to hoard.
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) November 17, 2021
BC Ferries also noted that it has added extra sailings on its Mill Bay-Brentwood Bay route Wednesday night. Betwee 7:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
The M.V. Klitsa, which services the route, accomodates 19 vehicles and up to 150 passengers and crew, with travel time at around 25 minutes.
“BC Ferries expects this route will be popular over the next few days and will be providing priority to BC Ambulances and other critical medical supplies requiring transportation,” BC Ferries said in a statement. “Customers are advised to expect waits and
be prepared with snacks and water.”