Story by Sharon Vanhouwe

VICTORIA, B.C- The provincial ferry service is looking for your input on what to put in their ships.

BC Ferries is looking to build five new vessels in the next few years, and have said that each new class of ship they build is quieter than the ones they replace.

Mark Wilson, the Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement, said  the plan is to replace four ferries that are operating on major routes and introduce a 5th ship to supplement into the major routes to help provide back up capacity.

At the same time, he says they’ll be taking the underwater radiated noise from the ferry operations into consideration.

“We really, really, want to be a steward in the environment that we operate in and we realize how important the coast of British Columbia is and we want to pay attention to that,” said Wilson.

“But, at the same time we need to deliver a safe and reliable service.  That’s going to be a big focus in the design of these vessels is the environmental profile and the underwater radiated noise.”

In the meantime, BC Ferries is looking for public comments with regards to what should be built into new ferries, or what shouldn’t be there.

Comments can include issues surrounding accessibility, food service, seating options, children’s play areas, outdoor spaces, the design of pet areas, enhancements for foot passengers or for customers who ride bicycles.

You can submit your comments to:  http://www.bcferries.com/about/nextgen