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General News · 29th October 2011
Rod Lee
On Tuesday, October 18,2011, there was a Ferry Advisory Committee meeting at Heriot Bay Inn where members of the Quadra Island and Cortes Island FAC's met with the senior staff of the Ferry Corporation. This meeting has to do with operational issues - the rates questions having been communicated to the independant B.C. Ferry Commissioners the previous night here on Cortes.

In answer to some questions that were asked Monday night, here are some details that may answer those queries. Our ferry from Quadra to Cortes is known as Route 24. B.C. Ferries Corporation's year to year accounting dates are from April 1 to March 31.

Passenger ridership from Sept 2009 to Aug 2010 was 104219
Passenger ridership from Sept 2010 to Aug 2011 was 99245
This is a drop of 4944 people of 5%.

Vehicles carried from Sept 2009 to Aug 2010 was 55080 vehicles.
Vehicles carried from Sept 2010 to Aug 2011 was 52563 vehicles.
This also is a drop of 5% year to year for dates currently available.

There have been some "on time performance" ( sailing within 10 minutes of the published sailing times) problems on Route 24 from April to August of 2011, and they have already been addressed. On time departure is now a key performance rating for the Captain and crews job performance assessment. One reason is the crew doing their very best to squeeze every possible vehicle on before leaving the dock. Suggestions have been made to try and mitigate this lateness, and discussions with crews and Captains are being undertaken.

These seemed to be the main current operational areas of concern to Cortes Islanders - some other items were discussed and sent out for further consideration.

The current members of the FAC are Noba Anderson - directorcortesisland.com; Rod Lee - rod_leeshaw.ca; and Bertha Jefferies - cmarkettwincomm.ca. Cortes Island is allowed five (5) members on this committee, so we are looking for two more people. Please contact any of the above for more details.

Respectfully submitted, for the Cortes Island FAC
Rod Lee

There has only been 3 cancelled round trip cancellations on Route 24 from April 1 to Aug 31, and these occurred on April 10 due to bad weather. From FAC critcisms about what reasons there are for cancelling trips, all Captains from every route have been consulted resulting in a matrix of factors that affect the ships sailing are now consistant throughout the fleet.

It must be understood that there are three parts to this matrix. The first is simply that the weather is acceptable to sail. The third part is that the weather is unacceptable to sail.
The second part is a very small discetionary area where each Captain has to exercise his judgement.
PLEASE NOTE:this second area is based on wind speed and direction, wave size and direction, and tides movement. When the decision is made to sail, there are extra precautionary efforts made to ensure a safe trip. These include a safety warning announcement to remain seated and includes having a slightly longer space left between vehicles. Extra crew involvement is the safe sailing is also practiced.

REMEMBER - the first rule is to protect the passengers and their vehicles from potential harm, secondly to protect the crews from harm, and thirdly to protect an aging fleet of vessels from damage due to bad weather!