Thursday, September 17, 2015

BC Ferry commission allows for small fare hikes over next four years

Ferry Costs will be capped at 1.9
percent over the next four years
after a decision from the
BC Ferries Commission
While North Coast travellers are currently enjoying the fall discount season for BC Ferries transit to Haida Gwaii, the Central Coast and Vancouver Island, come the spring the return to normal fares will also feature a 1.9 per cent increase.

That allowance for a small increase comes following a decision released by the BC Ferry Commission on Wednesday, which announced that the cap on fares would be set at the 1.9 percent  amount for the next four years from 2016 to 2020..

In a media release from Wednesday, the Commission detailed the findings found in their report, a review which also provided for a few observations on the BC Ferry Service heading into the fall:

The BC Ferries Commissioner
released a report into Fare caps
on Wednesday
Although many routes saw traffic growth this summer, it's too early to assume sustained growth through 2019-20, so the commissioner did not adjust traffic projection in setting the price caps

Assumptions about fuel prices remain valid and reasonable, with the barrel price of oil having remained below the $65 dollar level cite in the commissioner's preliminary proposal in March

Debt service targets, long term capital plans and cost-efficiency targets or plans have not changed such that they would affect the preliminary price caps.

The full report from the Ferries Commissioner can be examined here.

As part of their review related to the proposed increase, the Ferry Commission sought out comment from ferry users along the coast, some of those contributions can be found here.

One of the most frequent topics from those that submitted comments was related to affordability of the Ferry Service, with a number of submissions calling for a general rollback in ferry fares.

As part of the final report, it was noted by Gord Macatee, the Ferries Commissioner hat those suggestions were considered to be incompatible with the Commission mandate.

More background on ferry issues on the North Coast can be found on our archive page here.

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