Medical Assured Loading is offered by BC Ferries for eligible patients who need to travel to or from critical medical appointments. It is designed to reduce wait time for those in need of critical care.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for Medical Assured Loading, patients must:
- Be travelling to a critical or emergency medical appointment or be travelling due to a life-threatening illness;
- Be experiencing undue or extreme discomfort and difficulty waiting extended periods in the ferry line;
- When travelling home through Horseshoe Bay, the patient must have a completed Travel Assistance Program (TAP) form.
Medical Assured Loading is not available for general doctor, dentist or specialist appointments.
Information for medical practitioners
Medical practitioners can issue a MAL letter for patients who have both been approved for travel on TAP and where an extended wait at the ferry terminal for a ferry sailing could cause risk to their health.
MAL letters must include the following information:
- Letterhead, including office address and contact information
- Date of issue
- Medical practitioner’s signature
- Patient’s name (for minors, please also include the name of the parent or legal guardian)
- Statement that the individual requires priority loading as an extended wait at the ferry terminal for a ferry sailing could cause risk to their health.
- An expiry date. If no expiry date is given, the letter will be valid for one year from the date of issue.
- The route or departure terminals through which the patient will be travelling.
- Once complete, medical practitioners will provide the letter directly to the patient.
Information for patients
Patients travelling on Medical Assured Loading are required to:
- Obtain a signed MAL letter from a medical practitioner.
- Arrive at the ticket booth at least 30 minutes in advance of the scheduled sailing’s departure time.
Present both the signed Medical Assured Loading letter from a medical practitioner and a completed TAP form to the ticket agent or vessel staff.
On Bowen Island
Bring your letter to Bowen Island Municipality. You will be issued a card to display in the window of your vehicle. There is a special permit area for MAL passengers in the cross-hatched area in front of the General Store. Only vehicles with valid MAL cards may park in this area while waiting to board the ferry.
In Horseshoe Bay
Arrive at least 30 minutes before departure, and present your MAL letter and completed TAP form to the ticket booth agent. If there is an overload and you have a MAL letter, inform an employee and they will direct you to the appropriate tollbooth.