11/05/2014 11:42 EST | Updated 01/05/2015 05:59 EST

B.C. Ferries: Nanaimo-Horseshoe Bay route cut not the only proposed change

BC Ferries users are reeling from the suggestion by a BC Ferries report that the service between Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay may be cut.

Among other ideas regarding the route, the report proposes it become a passenger-only service or be re-routed entirely through Tsawwassen.

But it's not the only change you should know about. A more in-depth look at the report reveals more changes which could be on the horizon:

• Southern Gulf Islands  — BC Ferries is also focusing its efficiency plan for the next five years on the Southern Gulf Islands routes. BC Ferries calls this the most complex routes in its system. 

• Live aboard crew - BC Ferries says it will consider reducing the number of ships servicing the Southern Gulf Islands routes, having crew sleeping on new ships servicing the routes, and "rationalizing the number of terminals on Salt Spring Island."

• Changing fuel – By 2021, BC Ferries will convert the engines of the Spirit of Vancouver Island and Spirit of British Columbia, its largest ships, to run on liquefied natural gas. It will also replace a number of smaller vessels, with new ships running on LNG. Based on current fuel prices, Ferries estimates it will save 50 per cent over the cost of diesel, its current fuel of choice. Ferries estimates the savings at $45 million by 2020.

• Fare flexibility - BC Ferries plans to give people more access to discounted routes when they book in advance, and will consider eliminating reservation fees. It also wants to give people "greater certainty" they will be able to travel the route of their choice.

• Digital overhaul – BC Ferries wants to improve its online booking system, and save on overhead by reducing the money it pays for call centre bookings. BC Ferries estimates it can save $7 million by 2020 in this way.

Read the report

- On mobile?Click here to read the Sept. 30, 2014 BC Ferries efficiency plan