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BC Ferries in high demand as province okays non-essential travel

Last Updated Jun 15, 2021 at 10:33 am PDT

(Riley Phillips, NEWS 1130 Photo)

BC Ferries website crashed moments after province announced lifting of travel restrictions

BC Ferries says it will be running a full summer schedule this year after slower season in 2020 due to COVID-19

Non-essential travel is now allowed across B.C.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Many people across B.C. appear to be eager to get out of town now that non-essential travel is allowed.

Demand is so high the BC Ferries website crashed on Monday, likely caused by too many people trying to book trips at the same time.

“It is a new website that we launched last fall, so we shouldn’t be experiencing that problem and we’re trying to determine why it’s happening,” Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries explained, adding problems began when there were about 2,000 users trying to access the website at the same time.

On Monday, the province announced non-essential travel would once again be allowed, with B.C. moving into the second step of its restart plan Tuesday.

“We are seeing, obviously, some pent-up demand, and now that the travel restrictions on those six routes that cross the regional boundaries have been lifted, we do expect to see an increase in volume,” said Marshall.

Reservations for sailings on popular routes between Vancouver Island and the mainland were already sold out Tuesday morning.

Marshall says they will be running a full summer schedule this year.

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“That includes four vessels servicing the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route. We’ll have three ships between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay, and an extra ship over on the Langdale run,” she said.

As always, BC Ferries recommends customers make a reservation if they have a planned date and time in mind.

BC Ferries is also reminding people about its Saver fares on three major routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

“What customers will see is discounts at off-peak periods, and what we’re hoping that will do is not only give our customers a discount, but it’ll help shift some traffic away from the peak sailing times and free up some more space at the more popular times,” Marshall said.