BC FERRIES PHOTO Artist rendering of the passenger area of proposed Minor 44 Class vessel project.

BC Ferries seeking input on new vessels

BC ferries will host two public meetings in the North Island to gather input on a new ferry vessel project.

Public participation sessions will be held in both Sointula and Alert Bay to discuss the Minor 44 Class Vessel project, which will see two new minor class vessels join the ferry fleet by 2020.

In Alert Bay, the sessions will take place Tuesday, August 15 at 4:30 pm and will be held at the Lawrence Amber Memorial Rec Centre.

In Sointula, the session will take place Wednesday, August 16 at 5:30 pm and will be held at the Upper Crust Bakery.

One of the proposed vessels will replace the Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route.

The Quadra Queen II, which currently serves the route, will become a relief vessel, allowing for fleet redeployments and the retirement of the 53-year old Howe Sound Queen.

The other new vessel will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route. This vessel will replace the 59-year old North Island Princess, which will then be retired from the BC Ferries fleet.

BC Ferries will be also be hosting a public participation session on Texada Island at the Texada Seniors Centre on August 14.

At these sessions, the public will be able to learn more about the project, provide opinions on current vessel design features, and share ideas on amenities they feel may enhance customer service.

“Now that we’re in contract with a shipyard to build these two vessels, we really want to hear from our customers prior to the final design being set,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering in an August 3 press release. “The more we can understand what amenities are valuable for customers, the better ability we have to work with the shipyard and build as many of these features into the final design as are feasible.”

More information on the Minor 44 Class project can be found at bcferries.com/about/projects.

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