Albion Ferry

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The Albion Ferry in its last month of operation, 2009 (Photo:Mark Forsythe)

The Albion Ferry was a passenger and vehicle ferry service that sailed on the Fraser River between Albion and Fort Langley in the Lower Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada from June 2, 1957[1] until July 31, 2009.

Originally operated by the Ministry of Highways as part of their inland ferry services, a single vessel – M.V. T'Lagunna – provided service every hour between 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM and every 30 minutes during the rest of the day. It ran continuously when there were overloads.[citation needed]. Named for the Halqemeylem name for the Golden Ears,[citation needed] it had originally served the communities of Agassiz and Rosedale as M.V. Agassiz.[2] Built in 1931, it had a vehicle capacity of just 16 cars.[3] Tolls of 40 cents per car and driver, and 10 cents per additional passenger, were initially charged[citation needed] but these were removed on 15 February 1972,[4] and the service remained free thereafter. In 1978, after many years of complaints about safety and reliability[5] another ferry – M.V. Kulleet – was put into service alongside T'Lagunna. In 1985, Kulleet's sister ship, M.V. Klatawa replaced T'Lagunna,[1] which was kept as a spare until 1986. Both Kulleet and Klatawa had previously been servicing short routes in the Gulf Islands. T'Lagunna was sold for use as a cargo barge, and eventually sank in Howe Sound; it was salvaged in 2011.[6]

In 1998, the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority (later known as Translink) was created to handle all transportation in greater Vancouver, including the Albion ferry. A subsidiary company, Fraser River Marine Transportation Ltd., was created to operate the ferry. At a 50th anniversary celebration in June 2007, a commemorative plaque was placed by Maple Ridge's Community Heritage Commission at the Albion ferry terminal.[7] The ferry service was retired shortly after the Golden Ears Bridge opened to traffic on June 16, 2009. The last sailings for Kulleet and Klatawa took place on July 31, 2009 just after noon.[8] At the end of its life the ferry employed 58 full-time and as many as 20 auxiliary employees;[9] 2006 traffic amounted to 1.5 million vehicles and 4.0 million passengers[citation needed]. The two ferries were sold in 2011 for $400 000 to a local marine transportation company.[10]

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  1. ^ a b Michael Sather, MLA, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows (30 March 2009). "Private Members' Statements: The Albion Ferry". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Province of British Columbia: Legislative Assembly. p. 14737. 
  2. ^ "Former River Ferry". 21 December 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012. Gerald Roberts: This ferry was the Albion crossing vessel on the Fraser. Built 1931 as the AGASSIZ, later changed to T.LAGUNNA and finally INLET NAVIGATOR. I converted this ferry into a freight carrier, working out of BELLA COOLA servicing OCEAN FALLS, KLEMTU, BELLA BELLA, SHEARWATER, NAMU and return. The ramp is from B.C. ferries crane Coast guard. Vessel had props & rudders both ends very cranky to manoeuvre. Last seen Allied being converted into a barge. 
  3. ^ "Final sailing". 31 July 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Hunter B Vogel, MLA, Langley (28 January 1972). "Speech from the Throne". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Province of British Columbia: Legislative Assembly. p. 153. 
  5. ^ GS Wallace, MLA, Oak Bay (9 June 1975). "Estimates: Department of Highways". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Province of British Columbia: Legislative Assembly. p. 3207. 
  6. ^ Rebecca Aldous (16 December 2011). "The T'Lagunna rising". The Squamish Chief (Squamish, British Columbia). Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Maple Ridge Community Heritage Commission newsletter, Summer 2007" (pdf). Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Albion Ferry makes final voyage". CBC News. July 31, 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-02-20. 
  9. ^ "END OF AN ERA: Albion Ferry dry docked after 52 years service". 31 July 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Albion Ferries sold to BC buyer". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 

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