Commuter ferry sails into sunset


(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, June 3rd 1994, p1: with permission)

Bowen Islanders ar etoo wedded to their cars to use a now-submerged passenger service to downtown Vancouver, according to transportation committee member Pat McGuire.

"Bowen Islanders don't seem to want to get out of their cars," McGuire said following the end of the Kona Winds short-lived commuter service.

Despite offering free trial fares and a bar on the evening return trip, the service drew a maximum of 16 passengers -- about 34 fewer than needed to break even.

McGuire said the committee supported the service, hoping it would reduce the number of overloads on the Capilano.

Company owner Bruce Kerr said Thursday while part of the problem is Boweners' devotion to the car, a more significant factor was the commuter mentality."

"You have to be numb to commute," Kerr said, recalling his own commuting days. "Everything just goes on autopilot."

As a result, people wouldn't try the service even when he gave away free passes.

"We were joking about chaining the propellers together on the Queen of Capilano so people would try it," he added.

The service is suspended, rather thancancelled, and the company will consider restarting it with more energetic marketing.

The price of $240 per month plus GST -- $100 more than the present bus-ferry fare -- was also a deterrent, Kerr said.

But if the price is lowered the service would need full passenger loads.

What might trigger another attempt is an event such as problems with the Lions Gate crossing, a ferry workers' strike, or a breakdown of the Capilano, said Kerr.

Passengers on the final trip last Friday sang Thanks for the memories

Page last updated 99-03-05