On Friday December 4th I arrived at the ticket booth at the Horseshoe Bay terminal at 9:18pm with my two children ages 11 and 13 after picking up my son from a grade 6 dance at the Glen Eagles Community Centre. I handed the BC Ferries ticket booth attendant $120 and requested an Experience card and mentioned that I was with two students (they had not yet returned from school.)
The ticket booth attendant (grey hair in his 50s) asked me if I was a resident of Bowen Island and I said yes for 4 years, he then asked for proof of residency and I told him that I left my wallet on Bowen. He then proceeded to ask to see my drivers license, I told him I did not have it on me, it was at my home on Bowen as I forgot my wallet on Bowen.
He then told me he could not let me drive, as it is illegal to drive without a license. I began to get upset as I had groceries and Christmas decorations and my children in the car and it was the last ferry. He began to raise his voice at me, security came over with their dog and I ask to speak to a manager. He again yelled at me and told me he could not let me on as it is illegal to drive without a license, my youngest began to cry and my oldest was getting upset.
I asked if I could park my car and walk on and he said no. At this point there were 5 cars behind me and it was 9:30 pm, passengers began exiting their vehicle offering to pay for my ticket thinking that was the problem.
I got out of the vehicle and spoke to other residence waiting and told them that they would not let me through because I do not have my license on me. One passenger become very upset and went to the ticket booth and told the attendant that he is not a police officer and could not refuse me to drive or ask for my license in the first place.
Other customers offered to drive me on. As I was crying and calling my husband the security officer yelled at me and said, “You see what you have done. This is about you and now you’ve got everyone involved!”
At 9:35 pm (17 minutes after I arrived), the booth attendant let me through. He gave me the wrong change (I asked to put $115 on my experience card and he put $120) and he charged my children (both residence and students at an event) full price, when I went to ask him about the mistake he said, “whatever move through.”
As I drove past the booth I looked back at my youngest who was in tears and said to me “I was so scared,” he had never heard a man yell or accuse his mother.
When I got on the ferry I called my husband who was waiting at home and worried. When I called him, I was followed by an attendant on the car deck. When I went back in the vehicle two deck attendance passed the vehicle and looked at me and into the vehicle which I felt was harassment, so did my son.
My son had a hockey game yesterday and we needed to come back on the 9:30 ferry again, he was afraid and I was also afraid that we would run into the same man.
I am a professional, I work with the school district and I am a mother. I did not deserve that treatment on the last ferry of the night; if I were pulled over by a police officer I would have received a ticket. The fact that a worker threatened to not let me on the last ferry with my children without any resolution at the time (they said I couldn’t park, walk on or ride with another resident!) was beyond stressful and wrong.
I ride the ferry 12X a week, I am a customer and I did not deserve that treatment which made me feel like a second class citizen and was emotionally stressful for me and my 11 year old child. On top of this, I was overcharged and he dismissed me when I suggested he made a mistake.