Spirit of British Columbia back in service after major re-fit, including conversion to natural gas

 The Spirit of British Columbia is back in service on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run.  

One of the largest vessels in the fleet, the Spirit of BC has been out of service since last fall for a major mid-life upgrade. The work included being converted to run on natural gas, which is cheaper than diesel and better for the environment.  

And BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshal says there's another benefit:

"It will be going smoother. The ride is smoother. I've heard from colleagues who are on board the vessel today." 

The corporation says the change is comparable to taking about 25-hundred vehicles off the road every year.

Marshall says passengers will also notice additional washrooms on deck 5, a new coffee car on deck 6, a gift shop that has doubled in size, and new carpeting and upholstery.  

Things passengers won't see include upgraded navigational and propulsion equipment, and engine room improvements designed to keep the vessel in operation another 25 years.

 The re-fit was done in the slower months to minimize impact on service.

The Spirit of B-C's sister ship, the Spirit of Vancouver Island, is set to begin the same upgrades this fall. 

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