Q to Q Ferry
A pedestrian and bicycle connection between Queensborough and the mainland of New Westminster has been a long-standing City transportation objective. In October 2016, as the result of significant cost identified for the construction of a permanent pedestrian and bicycle bridge from Queensborough to Quayside, the City implemented a 2-month demonstration ferry service, to test the concept and to gain a better understanding of the technical and financial implications.
The demonstration ferry service operated every 20 minutes from each dock between August and September 2017 between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Statutory Holidays. The service also ran on Friday evenings between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm to coincide with the “Fridays on Front”. Over 18,500 passenger trips were completed (averaging 850 passenger trips per day).
During the demonstration ferry service, passengers and the public were given the opportunity to provide feedback by filling out a survey through hard copies, in-person interviews, and online. In total, 738 surveys were completed and 432 of these included written comments. The general feedback was largely positive and indicated that a future ferry service was something that would be of interest to the public.
Council requested that staff implement a full-scale Q to Q Pilot Ferry Service in 2018, that would build upon the experience and valuable passenger and stakeholder feedback from the 2017 Q to Q Demonstration Ferry. In particular, the 2018 Ferry Service would respond to the following key improvement areas:
- Improved accessibility of all infrastructure
- Improved operations to better address the needs of people with disabilities
- Weather protection and seating, particularly at the Port Royal dock
- Better directional and wayfinding signage
- Better lighting along gangways and docks
- Additional service hours, including weekday morning and evening commuter times, and later evening hours on Fridays and Saturdays
- Staff are finalizing their review of hours of operation, fares, infrastructure upgrades and operational requirements, and plan to report to Council on March 12 with a final plan.
- Subject to Council approval, the 2018 Pilot Ferry Service is anticipated to start in late spring 2018