A BC Ferries “Island Class” vessel. Image courtesy of BC Ferries.

BC Ferries is building four more “Island Class” ferries, due to increased demand and current vessels aging, and a call for proposals has gone out to shipyards in British Columbia, as well as nationally and internationally.

Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries spokesperson, says the new vessels will come into service by 2028 and augment the six “Island Class” vessels already in the fleet. The ships will serve inter-island routes and all are hybrid diesel/electric powered. The cost of each is approximately $50 million dollars.

Marshall says one of the new boats is earmarked for the Quadra to Cortes Island route, nearly doubling local capacity. She also confirms that two of the existing ships are set to begin service on the Campbell River to Quadra island route this January, increasing capacity on that busy crossing by about 80 per cent. The introduction of two ferry services was originally slated for this past summer, but a shortage of available crew delayed implementation.

Marshall says BC Ferries posted a record second quarter in vehicle traffic, helping to make the case for adding more vessels to the fleet.

She provides details in the interview below with CKTZ News:

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.