BC Ferries to ban passengers from closed car decks during sailings
Jeff Lawrence, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, December 19, 2016 4:54PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 20, 2016 6:50PM PST
If you like to snooze in your car when sailing on BC Ferries, bad news: you may not be able to do it much longer.
BC Ferries is working on a proposal that would ban passengers from staying on closed, contained car decks during sailings, CTV News has learned.
The company confirmed it was implementing Transport Canada regulations limiting passenger access to closed car decks while vessels are in motion because of safety concerns.
Details of the ban are unclear, but it’s believed to only apply to the lower decks of most C-class vessels, including those on the busy Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route.
Under the ban, passengers would be forced from bottom decks while the ferry is crossing.
Those parked in upper car decks or using enclosed pet-friendly areas will be permitted to stay.
Spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the company is working with Transport Canada and will have a formal announcement in January 2017.
She confirmed the company is also in talks to ban smoking outright on all of its vessels.
BC Ferries is discussing the possibility with employees and said it was considering a phased approach to the ban.
There are currently designated smoking areas on outside decks of some ferries, but those would be eliminated by the new policy.
Marshall said one concern about a smoking ban would be that while a customer is only on a ferry for a relative short amount of time, some employees who are smokers work on vessels for more than eight hours.
The union representing BC Ferries workers has confirmed the two proposals are being looked at.