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B.C. Ferries withdraws application for streamlined check-in process

The application for digital and contactless check-in systems went to the independent ferry commissioner in May
B.C. Ferries expects a new application for the project will be submitted but did not give a date. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

B.C. Ferries has withdrawn its application to the B.C. Ferry Commissioner to set up digital and contactless check-in systems at its five major terminals.

The application to make terminals more efficient went to independent ferry commissioner Eva Hage in May. Its cost was not publicly revealed but it was described a “major capital” project, which means it would cost at least $25 million and required approval from Hage.

James Tan, a B.C. Ferries vice-president and chief information officer, said in a Tuesday letter to Hage that the company needs a few months to make sure it understands the complexities of the information technology needed and how to manage it. B.C. Ferries still believes in the project to “improve the customer and employee experience by positioning the major terminals to process vehicles efficiently and seamlessly,” Tan said. The system would include a centralized terminal operating model. Tan expects a new application for the project will be submitted but did not give a date.

B.C. Ferries believes its major terminals have reached their maximum service abilities, prompting the efficiency plans.

Meanwhile, the company issued a request for proposals this week for business and project-planning help for its capital projects. Hage has approved more than $2.4 billion for capital projects over the next four years, the request-for-proposals document said.

Given the scope of the capital expenses and issues such as labour, permitting and the supply chain, a review of the company’s planning framework is needed, it said.

B.C. Ferries’ board and the B.C. Ferry Authority are working on a 30-year plan and investment strategy. B.C. Ferries operates the system and the authority oversees its strategic direction. The planning work is expected to be completed by June 2024.

B.C. Ferries wants the successful bidder to review the organization’s existing processes and work on a revised approach to planning and setting priorities.

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