If you are travelling to or from the mainland to get the medical help you need, you won’t need to pay the fee to reserve a ferry ticket.
The $18 booking fee has been waived for residents who qualify with the provincial government’s Travel Assistance Program (TAP).
“The Travel Assistance Program is so important in helping people living in rural or remote communities access critical health-care services,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health, Jennifer Rice. “Making reservations for people travelling with TAP free is another great step in removing barriers to accessing health care and I am grateful to BC Ferries for this action.”
The complimentary fee-waive for medical travelers will apply to the following;
- Victoria (Swartz Bay) – Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen)
- Nanaimo (Departure Bay) – Metro Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay)
- Metro Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Sunshine Coast (Langdale)
- Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point)
- Sunshine Coast (Powell River) – Vancouver Island (Comox)
It will continue to apply to preexisting routes that offered TAP bookings. Last year, over 300,000 people sailed with help from the TAP. The most popular was the Langdale – Horseshoe Bay route, totaling around 73,000 customers.
“We understand that travelling while unwell, or to treatments and surgeries, can be stressful,” said Vice President, Marketing and Customer Experience Janet Carson. “Removing the booking fee is our way of helping with travel certainty while removing the financial burden when travelling to and from doctors’ offices, clinics or hospital.”
You can continue to use a Medical Assured Loading (MAL) letter on all routes, except those that are fully bookable. BC Ferries says MAL is only available for those travelling under the TAP and who have a MAL letter from their medical practitioner that states that it is necessary for them to avoid a wait at the ferry terminal.