People hoping to hop on a ferry and head to Vancouver Island for the Easter break have taken to Twitter to express their frustration with huge wait-times and car line-ups on Friday morning.
BC Ferries says there is a three-sailing wait for Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. People travelling from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Horseshoe Bay to Langdale can also expect a two-sailing wait. BC Ferries has also alerted travellers that parking facilities at the Horeshoe Bay Terminal have reached capacity.
One woman tweeted to BC Ferries that she “hadn’t seen a day like this in several years” and wished them “good luck” with dealing with the influx of passengers.
While another, less impressed, traveller tweeted, she had "never seen traffic control at a ferry terminal so poorly managed" and called on them to "do better."
BC Ferries is responding to traveller complaints on Twitter, explaining to many that they "experience high volumes of traffic on long weekends. We plan for increased traffic levels and add extra sailings where we can but are limited with the number of berths and vessels available."
"Please know, our terminals are aware of traffic volumes and traffic controllers are on site to assist with heavy volumes," @BCFerries tweeted.
Thanks @BCFerries. Haven’t seen a day like this in several years. Good luck. Worried now we won’t make it to the window in time thanks to so many trying to budge in line. Would be nice for people to line up respectfully. #bcferries #longlines #benice— jen thompson (@jcaldert) April 19, 2019
Hey @BCFerries . Were you not aware it was a long weekend? Never seen traffic control @ ferry terminal so poorly managed. Your people directing traffic giving out wrong info- & no guidance for those with reservations. Do better. #swartzbay #bcferries #trafficfreeforall @NEWS1130— Susan (@SusanSalee) April 19, 2019
Drivers heading to the Terminal have also reported a severe traffic backup.
#bcferries, #WVPD Crazy on Hwy 1 @ ferry in horseshoebay, long line on left, then cars butting in, cars in right lane cutting over 2 lanes to butt in, total lack of control, near accidents, people getting mad, it is meyhem!!— BernadetteWoit (@NSSEPbernadette) April 19, 2019
#bcferries absolute gong show, 60 minute queue from Tsawwassen Mill, wrong information, one window for all Gulf Islands ferries— Karen Gray (@KarenGray) April 19, 2019
The traffic at #BCFerries Tsawwassen looks terrible, but it's being managed just fine. Arrive in time for your reservation and don't panic and you'll be fine.— Wendy Barron 🖊🍁 🌷🍃🌞 (@normaloqWendy) April 19, 2019
BC Ferries scheduled 89 extra sailings for the long weekend, including 70 on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen run and 11 on the Vancouver-Nanaimo route to deal with the expected Easter travel rush.
Earlier in the week, BC Ferries recommended passengers book reservations for automobile travel and arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior to reserved sailing times.
They also advised foot passengers to arrive 45 minutes ahead of their anticipated sailings and opt to take public transit or arrange a ride to and from terminals.
Travelling with us this Easter weekend? 🐰⛴️— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) April 18, 2019
Find out more about additional sailings, peak travel times, reserving your spot, alternate route options & travel tips: https://t.co/Fx2zyAKh7W
We’ll keep you up to date here as well. 😃 ^rz#BCFerries pic.twitter.com/fZ8nB1U9EK
Travellers are advised to stay up to date with current conditions and wait times.
Find out more about additional sailings, peak travel times, reserving your spot, alternate route options and travel tips for the Easter long weekend HERE.
Follow @BCFerries for live updates.
-- With files from Times Colonist