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Fare changes coming to Q to Q ferry in New West as city works toward pre-pandemic service levels

Kids to ride for free, fares increasing for others on Feb. 1
The City of New Westminster is hoping the Q to Q ferry will be able to return to pre-pandemic service levels in April.

A number of changes are in the works for the Q to Q ferry service in New West.

The city has announced that children 12 and under will be able to ride the Q to Q ferry for free starting on Feb. 1. The free service is in keeping with the provincial Get on Board program.

Operated by Bowen Land and Sea Taxi (BLaST), the Q to Q transports passengers between the Queensborough and Quayside neighbourhoods.

Blair Fryer, the city’s manager of economic development and communications, said the city is hopeful the Q to Q will be able to return to pre-pandemic service levels in April, in anticipation of higher ridership resulting from sunnier weather and an improved situation with the pandemic.

In March 2020, the Q to Q ferry ceased operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it resumed service in November 2020 with a limited schedule.

Under the Get on Board program, children aged 12 and under can ride on TransLink and BC Transit services for free. As of Sept. 1, 2021, children aged 12 and under are able to ride TransLink services free of charge.

“It was important that the Q to Q was consistent with recent initiatives to provide free transit to youth in the province,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote, who also chairs the Mayors Council on Regional Transportation. “I am hopeful the move will make the Q to Q more accessible and encourage youth and their families to use this service.”

The current weekday schedule has the ferry leaving Quayside every 30 minutes between 7 and 10:30 a.m. and between 3:15 and 6:45 p.m.

It leaves Queensborough every 30 minutes from 7:15 to 10:45 a.m. and from 3:30 to 7 p.m.

On weekends and statutory holidays, the ferry leaves Quayside every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Queensborough, it departs every half hour from 11:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

While kids 12 and under will soon be able to ride the ferry for free, Q to Q fares are increasing for other passengers starting Feb. 1.

Fryer said it’s the first fare increase to the ferry since the service was introduced. He said the fare increase will assist in meeting operating costs of the service.

Starting Feb. 1, regular fares for adults aged 19 to 64 will be $2.25 (up from $2). A monthly pass will now cost $45 (up from $40) and a 10-fare punch card (11th ride is free) will be $22.50 (up from $20).

For those paying concession fares – adults aged 65 and up and youth aged 12 to 18 – a single fare is rising to $1.25 from $1. A monthly pass will cost $22.50 (currently $20) and a 10-fare punch card (with the 11th ride being free) will cost $12.50 (currently $10).

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus

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