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Park and Go at Tswassen Terminal

Posted by Alan Boysen 
Alan Boysen
Park and Go at Tswassen Terminal
July 26, 2004 05:47PM
I think BC Ferries is being a bully the way they are leaning on Park and Go out at the Tswassesn terminal. For all you voyeurs, here's the email exchange I'm having with them:

Tara, thanks for the return of my email, but I think you may have glossed over some of my points and failed to address them specifically.

Dear Alan:

Following our brief interim reply of July 12th, I am pleased to have an
opportunity to respond further to your email regarding the Park and Go
service and to assure you that your comments will be recorded.

However, Park and Go has been operating its business on the Tsawwassen ferry
terminal property without the consent of BC Ferries. Any business operating
on ferry terminal property requires the consent of BC Ferries, as our
company holds a long-term lease on this property.

So just give it to them! Again, why would you insist on making things MORE expensive for your customers when the opportunity exists for them to get a better deal? Park and Go is providing a SERVICE for your customers, you should be happy with that.

BC Ferries and Imperial Parking (the parking company that manages the
parking lots at Tsawwassen terminal) have been in negotiations with Park and
Go since February regarding a monthly fee for the use of designated parking
stalls at this terminal.

Providing service to your customers should be your primary concern here. Gouging Park and Go will only serve to make their service economically unfeasible, which I suppose is Impark's agenda - to drive them out of business. Nothing like a monopoly to help screw the customer! And where does this end? If I use a mini bus to drop off a bunch soccer kids at the terminal to walk on, do I owe Impark or BC Ferries for this "priviledge"?

For the information of our customers, the attached press release was issued
on July 21st and is also posted on our website, which remains a reliable
source for updates. We will continue to do everything possible to keep our
customers informed through the available channels.

With respect to the parking management at our major-route terminals, BC
Ferries recognized that parking management is not a core area of expertise
for our company. You may be interested to know that Imperial Parking has
made a number of changes to simplify and improve the parking system at
Tsawwassen. More details about parking are available at our website at:

As a regular Bowen Island ferry commuter, I might be inclined to argue that running ferries is also not a core area of expertise for your company either. So does this mean that you would rather Impark make a big profit, and your customers pay more, than because of your lack of competence in the field of parking you would only make a small profit? Surely, running a parking lot isn't rocket science! Even a small profit would go towards operating losses more than no profit at all.

Thank you for your own comments. Again, I will be sure to record them for
our ongoing review of customer feedback.

Warm regards,

Tara Sharpe
Customer Communications Officer
British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.
Phone: 250 978-1185
Fax: 250 978-1119
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: July 12, 2004 2:17 PM
To: Customer Communications BCF:EX

Form submission from (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0;
Windows 98; FunWebProducts)) at July 12, 2004, 2:17 pm

Name : Alan Boysen
Company :
Email :
Mailing Address : rr 1 q 15
City : Bowen Island
Province : BC
Postal Code : V0n 1G0
Phone Number : 604-947-9192
Fax :
Feedback Type : concern

Traveling : planned

Comments : I am NOT happy with BC Ferries' draconian handling of the park and ride situation at the Tswassen terminal. This smacks of picking on the little guy to favour a large corporation (Impark). If we your customers can get a better deal when using the foot passenger option, why on earth would you want to make it more expensive for us? Does this mean if I drop off a mini-van load of people BC Ferries is going to prohibit this as well, unless we pay Impark a drop off fee? BC Ferries looks like a bully in this case.
If Impark didn't charge WAY too much for parking, perhaps the demand for this less expensive alternative wouldn't exist. Please also remember that this park and ride service also provides rental income for the local first Nation's band, which, ironically, your customers must pass through their land to get to the terminal. Please reconsider your policy on this issue.
Finally, how come BC Ferries farmed out parking to Impark anyway? Were you really incap! able of managing a simple parking service on your own, and collecting the profit from the operation, (which presumably Impark is realizing) thereby generating more income to defray operating costs?

Re: Park and Go at Tswassen Terminal
July 26, 2004 06:05PM
I too am very unimpressed with the way the Ferry Corp. is dealing with this situation. The Park and Go service is not new. It has been running for about 10 years. They have never raised their rates and continue to charge the same $7 per day parking fee now as before. Until early this year they were allowed to have a small sandwich board sign outside on the side walk outlining their service and advising customers where to wait for the shuttle bus. They were even allowed to have a courtesy phone on the wall at the terminal too. Both of these minor considerations have been summarily removed.

This last weekend we needed to go to Victoria and used the Park and Go Service. The lot is easy to find and is well laid out. (And very well used too I am happy to note) The shuttle bus is a profesional, 21 passenger unit, air-conditioned and clean. The service was as one would expect of a small, friendly business not of the faceless, grubbing, Impark type one sees furthur down the causeway.

We arrived to park at about 11:10 Saturday and the shuttle got us to the terminal well in time for the noon sailing. When we returned the wait at the curb was about 5 minutes to get us back to our car at 8:15 PM and the whole thing cost $14 and tax. Good value.

Given the number of vehicles in the Park and Ride and looking at the available space nearer the terminal I do not think that the Impark lot could handle all of the demand.

We have a large family wedding coming up in Victoria in a week and we have been telling everyone who might need it to go to the Park and Ride.

Write to the Minister Of Transportation, Kevin Falcon and tell him what you might think about this deplorable situation BC Ferries is creating. The roadway is public land and if any citizen has the right to drive on it and drop off their passengers then any vehicle representing a business such as a hotel or parking service can drop off their clients. The P&G is NOT a for-hire taxi service and has none of the rules that apply to them. It is purely in the business of providing parking and as a feature it shuttles its customers to the terminal. And very well, too I might add.
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