Nanaimo Island Ferry Services

Is Nanaimo a Future Vancouver Suburb?

Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Nanaimo in 65 minutes for $25 bucks?

Island Ferry Services is a company planning to offer a passenger only ferry service from Nanaimo downtown (100 Port Way) to the Vancouver Waterfront Station. And they are claiming it will take just over an hour and will cost as low as $25.

This “startup” plans to do what our Provincial Government seems incapable of doing; creating infrastructure so people can work in Vancouver, where the average detached home price is $1,056,500, while living in Nanaimo — where the average is $512,000.

That’s called improving access to more affordable housing.

I call it a no brainer!

According to Island Ferry Services, they expect their two boats, being built in Taiwan, to arrive by May 2018 and plan to to start carrying passengers by summer 2018 they’ll be offering passenger only ferry service from Nanaimo downtown (100 Port Way) to the Vancouver Waterfront Station. And according to their Facebook page updates two ferries will come steaming into Nanaimo.

Nanaimo ferry route
Proposed route.

Vancouver is desperate for affordable housing with little to no reasonably priced land left. In contrast, Nanaimo has very affordable housing (relative to Vancouver) and lots of cheap land, relatively speaking.

Vancouver and Nanaimo are separated by about 50 kilometers of water (30 nautical miles) bridged by a poorly located, overly priced BC Ferries option that makes long term, universal commuting to and fro unfeasible.

If this happens, as I have said before, I think we are looking at a game changer for Nanaimo — and I think reason alone to contemplate investing here.

With Seattle as a model of what can happen with properly designed and priced ferry operations, where thousands commute in by ferry daily, I see thousands of people eventually living in Nanaimo and commuting regularly by ferry to work in Vancouver.

It just makes sense.

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