Here’s an article from Steven Samuel, who hosts the website SPS Vision (referenced below). Thank you Steven for permission to reprint it here! -SPN
– by Steven Samuel, SPS Vision
Located 45 minutes west of Victoria, BC, Sooke is a growing community and generally an exciting place to be. In fact, a considerable percentage of new residents to the Greater Victoria region have chosen to move to the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island. As more people have chosen to move west, the result is increased congestion between regions. Since most Sooke residents are employed outside of the suburb, many have to commute. It doesn’t ease congestion when the only road out is a mostly single lane forest roadway that tends to get backed up. This, of course, adds to the existing congestion of the Colwood Crawl.
The issue, as always, is the infrastructure and getting from Point A to Point B. The two options to resolve current issues and prevent further ones from arising is to consider two options: either build better roadways or find a transit solution that is more efficient. Although building more roads is enticing, it is always much too expensive. Likewise, while it’s easy to just to resort to transit and add more buses, there are only so many buses that can be added until that itself becomes the problem.
What’s needed is a solution that effectively takes cars off the road while still being a desirable option.
The only option that I see as tangible is by building a ferry from Sooke to Victoria.
As mentioned before, most Sooke residents work in the Greater Victoria region, mostly in downtown Victoria. For that reason, a direct ferry from Sooke to Victoria would not just take more cars off the road, but it would be a more enjoyable and breath-taking ride. A similar proposition to a post published earlier, a direct Sooke-Victoria ferry would benefit the Sooke region immensely.
In addition to easing congestion, this ferry would ultimately benefit the economy of the Sooke Region.
Now, as it obviously is seen as a tangible idea, let’s get down to business.
The distance between the two regions is 19 nautical miles. In sea terms, that is definitely not too close. In order for this to be efficient, the ship would need to exceed 30 knots. Now, for the ships that British Columbians are used to (BC Ferries and the Translink SeaBus), that is a speed that seems unattainable.
But as mentioned in an earlier post, boats can go faster than 10 knots. In fact, most ferry systems operate at around 30 knots or higher. Conveniently, a Nanaimo start-up – Island Ferries (facebook, twitter) that will soon be starting daily service from Downtown Vancouver to Nanaimo will be manning ships that go up to 41 knots. If a similar system (or Island Ferries) initiates a fast-ferry service, Sooke Residents could be able to reach downtown Victoria in just over 30 minutes.
Therefore, it is proven that an efficient system can be established that’s reliable, green, and visually appealing (imagine enjoying the breath taking views of the harbour every day). This is what the Sooke Ferry will be like.
- Original Article
- SPS Vision Victoria