Get ready for some big changes coming to BC Ferries if you like to stay in your car while sailing or go out for a smoke on the ships or at terminals.
Starting Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, passengers will be unable to stay in their vehicles on any enclosed decks on a ferry — this means the lower decks of the ships that are enclosed by the loading doors; upper vehicle decks are not affected by this directive. According to a release by BC Ferries, this is to be compliant with Transport Canada regulations for passenger safety, highlighted under section 152 of the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act. BC Ferries added that passengers can ask the upper vehicle deck on a vessel with an enclosed vehicle deck when they pay for their fare at the ticket booths; though this may not be fulfilled due to demand, vessel or other situations.
A list of routes affected include:
- Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
- Tsawwassen – Duke Point
- Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
- Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
- Horseshoe Bay – Langdale
- Powell River – Comox
- Port Hardy – Prince Rupert
- Port Hardy – Bella Coola
- Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii
For smokers, as of Monday, January 22nd, 2018, you won’t be able to light up, or use an e-cigarette on any vessel or at any terminal or facility, even inside your own vehicle. This is due to changes to British Columbia law in 2016 that increased smoke free zone to 6 meters (19.6 feet) from 3 meters (9.8 feet) near any door, window or air intake. Because of the limited space on the decks, the increased buffer makes it hard to comply with this updated regulation.