The conditions on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen-Duke Point ferry routes are showing significant sailing waits Friday, April 19. (Keri Coles/News staff) BC Ferries recommends allowing for extra travel time and travelling at off-peak times whenever possible.(Photo courtesy Charlotte Prong Parkhill)

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

People flocking to Vancouver Island for Easter weekend caused a backup at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal with a four sailing wait to Victoria and a two sailing wait to Nanaimo.

“We definitely are seeing higher traffic volumes today. There are sailings waits for foot passengers as well as vehicles, ” said BC Ferries spokesperson Astrid Braunschmidt.

BC Ferries scheduled 89 extra sailings from April 18 to 23 on three routes which link Metro Vancouver with Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. Of those, 70 extra sailings are scheduled on the Vancouver – Victoria route (Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay). But even the extra sailings aren’t enough to keep up to the current demand.

RCMP are onsite at the Tsawwassen terminal helping with traffic control on the causeway, as ferry passengers take to Twitter to share their frustrations.

RELATED: BC Ferries announces 89 extra Easter sailings

The conditions Friday at 3 p.m. for the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route showed the 3:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. sailings full and the 5:40 p.m. sailing at 50 per cent.

The Tsawwassen-Duke Point route showed 3:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. sailings full and the 8:15 p.m. ferry already 66 per cent filled.

The Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route showed the 4 p.m. and 5 p.m sailings full and the 6 p.m at 80 per cent.

There were no waits in the opposite direction.

“Historically the most popular time on Easter weekend is Thursday afternoon and Friday morning before quieting down. Then things pick up again on Monday afternoon,” said Braunschmidt. “If trends play out we should see things getting better this evening.”

BC Ferries recommends allowing for extra travel time and travelling at off-peak times whenever possible.

For the most up-to-date conditions, visit the BC Ferries current conditions page.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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