Footies out in the cold

Minimal facilities for foot passengers at the Vesuvius ferry terminal have proved inadequate for this winter’s cold conditions, but improvements aren’t in the short-term forecast.
Minimal facilities for foot passengers at the Vesuvius ferry terminal have proved inadequate for this winter’s cold conditions, but improvements aren’t in the short-term forecast.Lynn Thorwaldson | Driftwood Gulf Islands Media

One of the most minimally serviced ferry terminals along the B.C. coast — at Vesuvius Bay — will continue to exhibit a spartan profile for at least the next five years, according to BC Ferries’ capital project plans.

Foot passengers have long complained about the lack of amenities, with just a partially glassed bus shelter and an outhouse to serve their needs. The uncomfortable situation has been made even more so during this year’s unusually cold winter, with repeated snowfalls in December, January, February and now March.

“Lots of people walk on this route and the conditions are quite substandard. Why would a walk-on passenger at this ferry terminal have different needs than those at Fulford or Swartz Bay, or at almost any terminal on the B.C. coast?” asked Salt Spring’s Lynn Thorwaldson, who commutes to Duncan four days a week. “If the ferry is late or you miss one, it is dismal.”

BC Ferries acknowledges the situation may not be the best, but said terminal improvements are not planned for approximately five years. Prior to that, community consultation on what’s needed will take place.

“We do have a development plan. There’s not a lot of terminals that are that sparse anymore, but we’ve got to fit it in when we can fit it in,” said public affairs manager Darin Guenette.

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Guenette said the project is tentatively scheduled for 2021 or 2022.

Thorwaldson said passengers who are interested in creating a united front can email her at lynnthor@telus.net.