An idea that has been tossed around for a long time has taken another step toward becoming a reality in Nanaimo.
The Vancouver Island Ferry Company says a new passenger fast ferry service from downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver will be launched next summer.
While there have been many attempts at this in the past, Alistair Caddick, CEO of the company says the company is confident this will get up and running.
“We’re 100 per cent confident, the company is up and running, we’re fully funded, the ferries are being built, we’re real,” Caddick said.
The company has secured two ferries to make multiple daily sailings which will cut down on travel time between the two cities.
“Currently if you’re not out of downtown Vancouver by 2 o’clock you’re not going to make it home before bedtime for your kids, so this is going to ensure you that you’re going to have 60-minute delivery of your person from downtown Vancouver, to downtown Nanaimo,” said Kim Smythe, president of the Nanaimo and District Chamber of Commerce.
The Vancouver Island Ferry Company says the Nanaimo to Vancouver route will be more direct. (Vancouver Island Ferry Company/Submitted)
Nanaimo’s MLA says this is something she has been working towards for years.
“We’ve been pushing for this for a decade,” Sheila Malcolmson said. “My 2015 and my 2019 election were all about the fast ferry and I’m so excited we are here today.”
Vancouver Island Ferry Company says hiring will begin in 2023, with most employees based in Nanaimo.
-With files from CHEK’s Skye Ryan