Looking out from a ferry across the waters to Vancouver Island

Ferry traffic getting back to pre-COVID levels

BC Ferry traffic on both the Cortes and Campbell River ferries were almost back to pre-COVID levels in 2021. 

20,000 more vehicles sailed from Campbell River than the previous year and  there were almost 4,600 more from Cortes Island. 

Cropped image of the Tachek – courtesy BC Ferries

According to a recent BC ferries press release, there has been a 26% increase in vehicle traffic throughout the province.

It looked like 2019 was going to be a good year, until COVID 19 arrived in the Spring. 

The number of cars boarding the ferry immediately dropped by 50%.

On March 20, 2019, Quadra Island Director Jim Abram issued a press release stating, “We all know now that isolation and limiting travel are key strategies in fighting this epidemic. Our community is asking anyone thinking of visiting Quadra, for discretionary reasons, reconsider and make plans to come at a safer time when we look forward to welcoming our visitors back.”

As southern Quadra is closely tied into Campbell River, ferry traffic bounced back when the restrictions were lifted that summer.

The Cortes-Quadra Island run did not reach pre-pandemic levels until September. 

That was almost 18 months ago. 

Things are getting back to normal now.

Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO, “This quarter’s numbers are encouraging given the pandemic’s ongoing impacts on travel and the uncertainty it added through the holiday season. While COVID-19 continues to present staffing and operational challenges I want to take this moment to recognize the continued commitment of our employees in delivering safe and efficient service to our customers.”

On Cortes Island, the numbers for November and December were better in 2021 than either 2020 or 2019.

This post was originally published on March 1 and reposted March 5 for the Saturday Round-up.

Top image credit: View from the Tachek to Vancouver Island – Photo by Roy L Hales

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