There will not be a new passenger ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver this summer.
In an update posted to Facebook on Monday, Island Ferry Services said: “Regrettably, we won’t be starting service this summer.” The catamaran service was expected to start in July.
The company went on to outline what it is working on and what still needs to happen to make foot ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver a reality.
“Frankly, we aren’t in control of the approval and negotiating timeline but, once these goals are met, we will be able to set a date for the start of service,” the post reads.
Island Ferries said in order to move forward, it has to complete an environmental assessment, which involves consultation with the Snuneymuxw First Nation. The company said it also needs to complete negotiations and finalize licencing arrangements with TransLink for use of the South SeaBus Terminal in Vancouver and receive Vancouver Fraser Port Authority approval of an application to complete the external modification to the SeaBus terminal.
According to the post, the company also needs to:
• design, gain approval for, and make the physical infrastructure changes that are needed at the Nanaimo Port Authority and SeaBus terminal;
• set up the various back-office systems (personnel, financial, marketing, ticketing, reservations, etc.);
• hire and train ship and terminal crews, as well as the supporting team members; and
• take delivery of two brand new catamarans and complete the remainder of the training program.
The company acknowledged that the news will be disappointing to many.
“This is a complex, expensive undertaking with many moving parts (some of which have been most unexpected), yet we are working diligently through the regulatory processes to ‘keep those parts moving in the same direction’, and get this service underway,” the post reads.