BC Ferries provides transportation on 25 routes to 47 terminals and the future of what the Transportation Minister calls the “Marine Highway,” may look a lot different.

Claire Trevena said there are a number of consultations in coastal communities about what needs to happen in the future.

“What they see a marine highway system to look like in the next 10, 15, 20, 30 years,” said Trevena. “Are the routes that are running now appropriate, should we be looking at more passenger ferries, should we be looking at more electric?”

Trevena said, “What should a marine highway system look like?”

Meetings are being had in Nanaimo and Salt Spring Island and the province will meet with community residents to discuss the ideas around how to improve or expand coastal ferry service.

That may include more routes, more passenger ferries, and innovations to reduce emissions.

Trevena said it’s important that people dream big about what’s possible.

“We’re going to be engaging through online discussion, we’re going to be meeting with BC Ferries, the BC Ferries Authority, bringing everyone into the fold to talk about what is possible, where we can go with our marine highway system,” said Trevena.

Trevena said, “We need to dream big, we need to have the ideas on the table and look down and say, ‘ok,’ what can we actually do?”

One idea that has been floated is the setting up of a BC Ferries terminal close to Vancouver International Airport and have a ferry service that fans out to remote areas of coastal BC.