Tardiness on Route 25

Commission’s Question to BC Ferries:

Route 25 (Alert Bay – Sointula – Port McNeill) suffers from one of the poorest schedule adherence levels in the system, with recent results for the key performance indicator (KPI) of “number of sailings departing within 10 minutes of schedule” at 34% to 54% over the last six reported months (April – September).

These represent a severe deterioration from the same months in the previous year (from KPIs at 52% – 85%).

Why?

BC Ferries’ response:

The route is served with M/V Quadra Queen II, operating at 10 knots. The ship has no reserve power (therefore speed) to enable it to make up for any situation that impacts the schedule. The most significant causes of schedule deterioration are:

  • heavy traffic
  • tidal conditions (including adverse tidal currents at certain times, and high or low tides impairing the speed of the loading process)
  • procedure (traffic management, fueling, marine traffic)
  • crew turnover (incurring higher familiarization time and training time, and resulting in loss of efficiency)

Since the ship has no residual speed to make up for a delay, by far most of the delays incurred are “accumulated delays”:

Month</td>Total delaysAccumulated delays
as % of all delaysKPI (%)
April 2004 321 76 54
June 453 65 37
July 391 58 47
August 488 85 34
September 352 79 51

 

Current Plans

BC Ferries will continue with the community initiated, BC Ferries supported, independent tracking system to monitor the progress of the M/V Quadra Queen II at www.island.net/~ferry

M/V Quadra Queen will undergo refit September 26 – November 19. This will include:

  • Replacement of the starboard engine with an overhauled engine (like-for-like)
  • Overhaul in place of the port engine
  • Shaft alignment (to correct minor alignment abnormality)
  • Emergency generator overhaul
  • Significant hull-plate renewal
  • Hull-coating renewal
  • Potentially modify propeller pitch (to improve efficiency)
  • Rehabilitate passenger lounges (carpeting, seating)
  • Washroom upgrade

During the refit the route will be served by M/V Tachek, a vessel of equivalent characteristics.

Future Plans

BC Ferries needs to consult with the route ferry advisory committee (on behalf of the affected communities) to explore an option that would best address the interests of the communities within the constraints of the Coastal Ferry Services Contract.

The Route Management Team (RMT) for Route 25 will be specifically tasked to work closely with user groups and passenger to improve the business performance of their vessel, including schedule adherence.