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Bc ferries

The meaning of «bc ferries»

British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., operating as BC Ferries (BCF), is a former provincial Crown corporation, now operating as an independently managed, publicly owned company. BC Ferries provides all major passenger and vehicle ferry services for coastal and island communities in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Set up in 1960 to provide a similar service to that provided by the Black Ball Line and the Canadian Pacific Railway, which were affected by job action at the time, BC Ferries has become the largest passenger ferry line in North America and the second largest in the world,[2] operating a fleet of 36 vessels with a total passenger and crew capacity of over 27,000, serving 47 locations on the B.C. coast.

As BC Ferries provides an essential link from mainland British Columbia to the various islands, and parts of the mainland without road access, on its routes, it is subsidized by the Government of British Columbia ($151 million in the 2011 fiscal year) and the Government of Canada ($27 million in the 2011 fiscal year).[3] The inland ferries operating on British Columbia's rivers and lakes are not run by BC Ferries. The responsibility for their provision rests with the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, which contracts operation to various private sector companies.

In the summer of 1958, a strike by employees of CP Steamships and the Black Ball Line caused the Social Credit government of W. A. C. Bennett to decide that the coastal ferry service in B.C. needed to be government-owned, and so it set about creating BC Ferries. Minister of Highways Phil Gaglardi was tasked with overseeing the new Crown corporation and its rapid expansion.

BC Ferries' first route, commissioned in 1960, was between Swartz Bay, north of Sidney on Vancouver Island, and Tsawwassen, a part of Delta, using just two vessels. These ships were the now-retired MV Tsawwassen and the MV Sidney. The next few years saw a dramatic growth of the B.C. ferry system as it took over operations of the Black Ball Line and other major private companies providing vehicle ferry service between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. As the ferry system expanded and started to service other small coastal communities, BC Ferries had to build more vessels, many of them in the first five years of its operations, to keep up with the demand. Another method of satisfying increasing demand for service was BC Ferries' unique "stretch and lift" program, involving seven vessels being cut in half and extended, and five of those vessels later cut in half again and elevated, to increase their passenger and vehicle-carrying capacities. The vast majority of the vessels in the fleet were built in B.C. waters, with only two foreign purchases and one domestic purchase. In the mid-1980s, BC Ferries took over the operations of the saltwater branch of the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways, which ran ferry services to very small coastal communities. This action dramatically increased the size of BC Ferries' fleet and its geographical service area. The distinctive "dogwood on green" flag that BC Ferries used between 1960 and 2003 gave the service its popular nickname "the Dogwood Fleet".

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