Students living in rural communities up and down B.C.’s coast get to school not by bus but by taking the ferry.

“We transport about 500 students everyday,” says Astrid Braunschmidt, manager of communication with BC Ferries.

“There are hundreds of students that rely on the ferry as their school bus everyday.”

Approximately 80 to 100 high school students travel from Gabriola Island to Nanaimo every day to get to class.

“It’s something you don’t find around the world usually,” says Jasmine Ginn, a Grade 9 student from Gabriola Island. “Having to take the ferry everyday to school.”

Crew members aboard the ferries have watched these students grow into adults over the years.

“There’s been many come through the ferry and I’ve seen them grow up,” says BC Ferries employee Keith Davis.

It’s a long day for these kids, Davis says.

“They have to get up at six and don’t get home til five o’clock.”

Once students step foot on Vancouver Island, a school bus picks them up and drops them off at the ferry terminal every day.