Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not a solution

You've gotta hand it to the folks at BC Ferries. They've come up with a new way of saving paper.

No longer do they print out schedules for travellers to consult. Instead, they print cardboard notices that direct tourists to go to their website. But they don't just print one notice and post it for people, they print out hundreds (probably thousands, but this photo -- from one station on just one of their boats -- only bears witness to hundreds).

When I made queries at the head steward's office about sailing times for the ferry I hoped to link up with later in the day, I was told to go to the website for the PDF of all routes. "But," I explained, "I'm on holiday, so my devices are at home. I can't go to the website." Further, when I asked whether a single printout could be posted someplace on the boat for benefit of such travellers as myself, the answer was no.

But I wasn't going away, and when they saw they weren't going to get rid of me so easily, they asked me to come back in a few minutes so they could look up the route in question.

After browsing the shop and using the washroom, I came back to see if they'd found the info I needed. I'll admit they were somewhat sheepish when they said they hadn't been able to access the site.

Later during the crossing, I found a brochure about Hornby Island and there, among its informative tidbits was the schedule of ferries that would take me there. Hurrah!

Remember too, this is the same service that has signs once you leave the boat, saying "Thank you for sailing BC Ferries". The brilliance of it all -- like, how else were we supposed to get the car from the Mainland to an island?

And how welcoming is this new policy for other tourists who might not be wired up as we're all apparently supposed to be?

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