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General News · 18th July 2014
Noba Anderson
To Cortes Island Ferry Users

Have you ever been unloaded off the Cortes or Campbell River ferry in a substantially different order than that in which you were loaded? It was precisely this issue that was addressed last week in a meeting between Cortes Ferry Advisory Committee members and operational personnel from BC Ferries. We left with real confidence that this loading / un-loading situation will be better addressed soon and on into the future.

The agreed upon goal by all involved is to load people onto the second ferry in as close as possible to the order that they were loaded onto the first ferry. The simplest way of doing this from a BC Ferries operational perspective is to synchronize the loading and unloading of Cortes traffic on both vessels.

To make things easier and more consistent for all ferry users, BC Ferries has agreed to:

• take the best practice and develop from it a standard operating procedure for loading and unloading so that all relevant crew can be trained in this best practice standardized system. This is not a commitment to retain the precise order but a strong intention to respect, wherever reasonable this common goal. There are some extenuating circumstances where this may not apply when unusual weight and load issues come into play.

• develop and implement a more standardized and formalized communication protocol between the two ferries and the terminal so that boats know when to wait, how many cars to expect and when we ferry is likely to be in an overload situation.

• Implement a dash placard system which will identify Cortes bound vehicles so that crew on the Campbell River – Quadra ferry will be able better identify us for priority unloading as well as to assist them in maintaining a loading and unloading order. You will be given a dash placard and asked to keep it in your car and display it as you come through the Campbell River ticket booth.

The Campbell River terminal will maintain lane 7 as a courtesy lane for Cortes bound traffic as long as you arrive 20 min early and there is space in lane 7. Cortes traffic beyond lane 7 will get mixed in as usual, and in overload situations we will all be mixed in as before. Hopefully the Cortes dash cards, even in these most chaotic times, will help the crew unload us earlier and maintain an order.

We have been asked to help with a few things also including:

notifying BC Ferries of any special events that may substantially increase traffic. If you know of a big gathering please tell a Ferry Advisory Committee member so we can help BC Ferries crew be better prepared.

SLOWING DOWN and improving safe conduct in the Whaletown Ferry Terminal. There is only one lane for two way traffic and some of you drive too fast when in a hurry. Please also be mindful as a pedestrian to stay clear of traffic.

• writing a Ferry Users Code of Conduct including things such as terminal safety, not passing on Quadra, minimizing fist fights over sequencing disagreements… Please help us by offering us your suggestions to include in this Code of Conduct.

Cortes FAC members include: Rod Lee, Uschi Koebberling, Noba Anderson and Bertha Jeffery. We have space for one more member… please consider joining us.

Noba Anderson, 250-935-0320