Coastal Inspiration


Trekking back and forth from the mainland to Vancouver Island by ferry has always been something of an inconvenient hassle, even though the ride itself is usually a pleasant respite from daily life in the city, especially during the summer months. As far as I’m concerned, sunbathing on the upper deck (weather permitting) while enjoying the always beautiful scenery of the Gulf Islands is well worth the modest fare just for that experience alone.

Not having traveled much at all for quite a while, this past weekend was my first encounter with the deluxe new “Coastal” class of ferries that were added to the fleet in the last year (imported from Germany at the cost of $300 million each). Very impressive ships overall and certainly a far cry from the venerable old rust buckets of the 60s that dutifully plied the waters between Vancouver and Victoria for many decades until quite recently. Now, if the powers that be could only somehow improve the public transit links on either side in a similar way, the whole travel experience between BC’s two major cities might not be such a long and tiresome undertaking (15 hours involving 12 buses and 4 rail links on a return trip as a foot passenger just to traverse a paltry span of 50 miles).

So here’s my “coastal inspiration” — maybe we should demand that, for a period of one year, MLAs from the mainland commute as foot passengers to and from Victoria utilizing nothing but public transit to access the ferry so they can better appreciate how many of their non-motorized constituents routinely travel. I suspect that plans for LRT connections on either side might be regarded with more serious consideration before too long…