B.C. seeks ways to ease ferry fare hikes

New ferries have added costs to the BC Ferries fleet. Fares are going up across the fleet

VICTORIA – BC Ferries isn’t allowed to use revenue from its busy routes to prevent steeper increases on the smaller island and northern runs.

That is one of the regulations imposed by the B.C. government in 2003 that is being reviewed by Gordon Macatee, the new B.C. Ferry Commissioner. Another is the mandate to move toward a user-pay system, which has resulted in fuel surcharges along with higher fares on BC Ferries’ 25 salt-water routes.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom said he has heard loud and clear from ferry users that they’ve had enough of big increases, and he wants “a primary focus on affordability” to consider tourism and other business as well as residents.

BC Ferries CEO David Hahn has said the mandate of the quasi-independent Crown corporation and its current public subsidy could result in a doubling of rates for some routes in the coming years, and substantial increases across the fleet.

Lekstrom said he doesn’t accept that, but he wouldn’t comment on the possibility of increasing the provincial subsidy.

BC Ferries is returning to fuel surcharges in June as fuel prices have soared, and has requested rate increases for next spring. Lekstrom said the fuel surcharges will go ahead.

BC Ferries is seeking rate increases of about four per cent on major routes and eight per cent on others to take effect next year. Lekstrom said he is considering legislation to allow temporary relief before the spring legislative session ends June 2.

Macatee’s review is to be complete at the end of September.

Just Posted

BCHL: Bulldogs fall to Capitals in third preseason loss

Alberni Valley Bulldogs will be on the road starting Wednesday, Aug. 28

Casual car show will put the drive into food drive

Port Alberni’s Cars and Coffee will wrap up with a food drive in September

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read