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B.C. Ferries floats terminal consolidation, service cuts to Nanaimo

The B.C. Ferries vessel Queen of Oak Bay approaches the dock at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal upon arrival from Departure Bay in West Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday March 5, 2013.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

B.C. Ferries is proposing service cuts and terminal consolidations on a popular route between Vancouver and central Vancouver Island.

The suggestions are included in a Sept. 30 efficiency and performance report to ferry commissioner Gordon Macatee, who regulates fares and service levels and acts independently of the provincial government and B.C. Ferries Inc.

The report was written by B.C. Ferries' chief financial officer Robert Clarke, who says the service will have to spend $1.1 billion over the next 15 years to replace six major vessels and upgrade the Horseshoe Bay terminal, which is northwest of Vancouver.

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Horseshoe Bay is one of two ferry terminals servicing Nanaimo, which also acts as a hub for arriving and departing vessels from Tsawwassen, located south of Vancouver.

The report says the service could consolidate the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay routes and terminals, "leverage a passenger-only service," or serve Nanaimo only from the Tsawwassen terminal.

The report says an extensive analysis must still be completed on the proposal, before B.C. Ferries undertakes "significant public consultation."

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