‘Fast’ ferries may see the scrap yard

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VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. government is threatening to scrap three ferries that were supposed to speed up the movement of vehicles on the Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo run, if a buyer isn’t soon found.

Transportation Minister, Judith Reid, says the fast ferries are valued at $120 million, but there have been no offers since they went up for sale a year ago. The only option remaining may be to sell the ferries for scrap metal.

"There aren’t very many options," says Reid, noting that the cost of operating the ferries is 25 to 30 per cent higher than the cost of running conventional ferries. The so-called "fast" ferries also failed to live up to expectations by carrying fewer vehicles and travelling at a comparable speed to regular ferries.

B.C. Ferries has already received harsh criticism since the new ferries were built in 1994. Mechanical breakdowns, cost overruns and construction delays plagued the effort to introduce a faster alternative to conventional ferries.

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