VANCOUVER -- People travelling between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland can now reserve a spot on their preferred BC Ferries sailing, even if they're travelling without a vehicle.

The provincial ferry operator announced Thursday that it is now offering online bookings for foot passengers on three popular routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island: Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen – Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay.

BC Ferries said in a news release that the online booking process will give foot passengers "travel certainty" and a faster check-in at the terminal.

Those booking in advance can confirm their bookings at self-serve kiosks or with ticket agents at each terminal's foot passenger departure area.

There is no additional cost to book a foot passenger fare in advance, and online reservations are available to seniors and students who receive discounted fares, as well. Those groups must check in with a ticket agent to redeem their discounted fares, the ferry service said.

For now, BC Ferries is limiting the number of foot passenger bookings available.

"If the website shows no foot passenger bookings available, it does not mean there is no space available," the company said in a news release. "Customers are still able to arrive at the terminal and purchase a foot passenger fare without booking in advance."