Editor: Re: New Westminster extends Q to Q ferry, Record, Oct. 4.
It seems to me that city hall is again setting this service up for failure. When the first pilot project for the ferry service was announced, I voiced concern that weekends-only would not give true numbers of ridership. Finally, over this past summer, a proper service was provided. Currently, the mayor and some councillors are saying positive things, but after two years they still don’t have the answers and more fact finding is required.
Now residents wanting to use the service will need to make a reservation the night before or no service will be made available. This in itself raises one of many questions. Perhaps the Record can provide us with more information? How many riders need to make a reservation before a trip is cancelled? Will there still be two boats or one? This is important because two boats will provide guaranteed 15-minute service, whereas one boat will take longer and offer fewer trips during the two-hour commuter period.
The story tells us that there is feedback that some want the service to start earlier, so why is it starting at 7 a.m.? Did the project manager contact schools to see if students knew about the service? Were businesses approached about partnerships? How did the city come to a $300,000 budget? How much of the budget is going to the project manager and administration? Who or where is the push back on this service coming from? The Record story tells us that the ferry operator has been providing valuable feedback to the project manager and yet (the story) has no information or quotes from Bowen Land and Sea Taxi.
With proper management and corporate sponsorship through advertising, this service could take a lot of traffic off the Queensborough Bridge and give a much-needed alternative to the river crossing. We have almost $6.3 million coming from the Starlight Casino and if the city can throw millions of dollars at the Front Street project, they can and should provide more money for the benefit of Queensborough residents.
Ken Basso, New Westminster