BC Ferries has announced a pilot project that will run direct service from Texada Island to Comox.

Northern Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee Chair Kim Barton-Bridges says crews are studying what needs to be done at the Blubber Bay berth to accommodate the Salish Orca.

The project would see the Salish Orca stop at Texada on its way to Comox from Powell River.

“What the Ferry Advisory Committee had requested of BC Ferries was just 4 sailings out of the 54 a week between Powell River and Comox that would stop-off and pick up at Blubber Bay,” Barton-Bridges says.

She notes that they want the route to run twice a week – on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“The thinking behind that was that those were underutilized sailings anyways. Also, medical appointments would be more accessible on the Wednesday and then Saturday would maybe allow for shopping and that sort of thing because it would reduce the travel from Texada to Comox by 5 hours.” She says this would be a huge benefit to Texada Island residents.

“For anybody going for a specialty appointment, you have to go to the Island or Vancouver. So, if you are going there for a medical appointment, it doesn’t make it any easier if you have to stay longer or stay overnight or extend your travel when you’re already not feeling 100 percent.”

Barton-Bridges says the pilot project would start up at the end of next summer, or at the beginning of fall 2018.