Passengers suggest improvements to ferry

by Ann Carpenter

(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, May 8 1998, p2: with permission)

Survey says engine noise, seating need work.

It's now been over a week since the 100-car commuter ferry Skeena Queen underwent trials on the Horseshoe Bay/Bowen Island Route. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those passengers who took the time to fill out the questionnaires that were available on board. It's. valuable to get feedback from the community.

Our passengers told us that in general, this type of vessel could be a real asset to the route. There was strong support for the cardeck layout and capacity. Passengers also liked the fact that the vessel is faster and more economical to operate.

Many passengers suggested improvements in the following areas: Engine noise in the lounges; Size and utilitarian design of the seating; Location of washrooms outside the lounges. These suggestions and others will be passed on to the design team for consideration when the next Century Class vessel is slated for construction.

The majority of the students who completed the questionnaires did not support the design of the Skeena Queen. Their concerns centred around the noise level in the lounges, the separation of the lounge accommodation into four pools, and the lack of food service. While the noise aspect can likely be addressed, and the lounge design may be re worked, it's highly unlikely that food service on a 20-minute sailing will be considered of prime importance to maintain.

This was a very valuable exercise. We were able to assess suitability of the vessel from an operational standpoint. More importantly, our passengers provided an excellent input and suggestions on the type of service that is important to them. We will continue to consult with our passengers and work with the Bowen Island Advisory Committee members as we continue our efforts to provide service in a cost-effective manner.

Ann Carpenter Manager,
Customer & Stakeholder Relations
Inter-Island Services, North


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