With the Vancouver Island Conference Centre close to completion, Cape Developments' condominiums getting closer to opening day, and work underway on more living units by the InSight Group's and Studio NA, it's probably time to take another look at the "missing link."
That is, the fast foot passenger ferry to Vancouver, an important piece of infrastructure for downtown. Perhaps not as vital as the upgrading and improving of Nanaimo Airport at Cassidy, but it is one of the keys to the complete transformation of the downtown Nanaimo business community.
Commuters are well served by harbour to harbour float planes, but a boat ride from Nanaimo to Vancouver -- roughly the same length as an Abbotsford-Vancouver road commute -- gives riders a chance to work on their laptops in a comfortable chair, complete with scenery, instead of crawling the clogged Trans Canada.
Here are some reasons why B.C. Ferries should take a serious look at establishing a foot passenger route to Vancouver.
This is a public service. An extension of our highway/road system, if you will.
B.C. Ferries has the financial wherewithal to do so. With their huge economies of scale, and their arms-length relationship with the government, the corporation has deep enough pockets to subsidize a route in the short term until it catches on and reaches profitability.
By establishing its own service, B.C. Ferries would effectively be protecting its own customer base.
By getting commuters out of their cars and onto one boat, that means fewer cars on the road, and less carbon emissions.
Mark MacDonald is the publisher of Business Vancouver Island. He can be contacted at email@example.com
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