See the many ways our vessels are used in this unique community of islands.
Nowhere else in the world are so many children carried to school by water taxi on a daily basis, as right here, in the Gulf Islands. Our water taxi currently transports over a hundred students from the Outer Gulf Islands to the high school on Salt Spring Island. Typically students begin commuting in the 9th grade and continue until graduation, travelling for about 90 minutes per day, about 200 days each year.
Gulf Islands Water Taxi boats have made over 6,000 ambulance runs since the service began in 1978. This includes the births of three babies on board! Typically, patients and medical attendants are transported from the islands to Swartz Bay on Vancouver island where they are met by a mobile ambulance unit. From this point they are carried to hospitals in the Victoria area.
Commercial deep sea freighters use the designated anchorages surrounding the Gulf Islands while awaiting a berth at Vancouver cargo docks. Gulf Islands Water Taxi regularly transports B.C. coast pilots to and from these ships. The taxi is also used to ferry ship’s agents, Canada Customs officials, ship’s surveyors, inspectors, crew and supplies.
Aircraft Carriers and US Navy
In previous years, Gulf Islands Water Taxi has proudly transported the United States Navy to and from their ships at anchor. These ships have included the USS Independence, USS John C. Stennis, USS Missouri, USS Constellation, USS Nimitz and USS Abraham Lincoln. For these visits, we have been responsible for arranging and providing all transportation by water taxi for approximately 4,500 sailors and VIP guests using up to eight vessels ranging from 40-300 passengers. The average stay of these ships is 4-5 days and the boats are running non-stop as passenger shuttles.
Over the past few years we have seen an increasing number of cyclists wishing to explore the Gulf Islands. We have transported many groups of happy cyclists around the islands and continue to do so.