Capital region mayors join Colwood's call for West Shore ferry feasibility study
COLWOOD, B.C. -- The City of Colwood has renewed its calls for the province to fund a full feasibility study on a possible ferry service from the West Shore to downtown Victoria.
“We need to have that feasibility study done,” said Rob Martin, Colwood’s mayor. “Until that feasibility study happens, this project is just on hold and stalled out.”
In 2018, a pre-feasibility study found that a ferry service would be possible, and even profitable. In January, Martin asked the province to foot the $1 million bill for a full study. In March, Colwood got a response.
“Basically, they said, ‘We are interested in what the region has to say, not just one specific municipality,’” said Martin.
Colwood has now produced a slick video, full of mayors and other stakeholders voicing their support for the proposed ferry service. It’s not just community leaders who are on board.
“I’m super on board for the idea of a ferry,” said Liz Loggia, a soon-to-be Colwood resident.
“I’ve been excited about it, absolutely,” said Lisa Guthrie, who currently resides in the city.
On Friday, the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure told CTV News Vancouver Island in a statement:
“The discussion of a passenger ferry between Colwood and Victoria was incentivized in the Southern Island Transportation Strategy, and a feasibility study may be considered at a future date.”
“As we come out of the pandemic, the ministry will focus on the near-term priorities identified in the South Island Transportation Strategy, which include improvements to transit and active transportation infrastructure on the South Island.”
As the West Shore continues to grow, the need for transportation alternatives will only increase, says Ben Mycroft, director of development for Gablecraft homes.
The company’s Royal Bay development alone is slated to add 6,000 homes to the region.
“It’s incredible the growth that we’ve seen,” Mycroft said. “You need to plan ahead and if we don’t, residents of this community and Victoria will be looking back, shaking their heads, wondering why we didn’t see it then.”
The mayor of Colwood says the whole region wants to see this service up and running. Now, it’s up the the province to move it forward.
“I have letters from all 13 mayors supporting the concept of this being further investigated,” said Martin. “So, I really hope that the province steps up and looks at funding this.”