Ride BC Ferries frequently? Well, it’s already costing you more, as of Friday.
A 3.5 per cent fare hike on most routes that was announced earlier this month came into effect on Friday. As would be expected, this is not sitting well with many residents and businesses along the coast.
A series of rallies have been planned for Saturday, from Langdale to Skidegate, calling on the Premier to stop service cuts, and reverse this controversial rate hike.
Jef Keighley, coordinator for The B.C. Ferry Coalition, based out of Halfmoon Bay, says enough is enough. “This is driving a wedge between families on both sides of the pond,” Keighley continues. “My own children can’t afford to come up as often as they want, and I can’t afford to go down and visit as much as we want to.”
BC Ferries has explained that the fuel surcharge is necessary to cover the rising cost of diesel fuel. It will apply to all routes with the exception of the Port Hardy-Prince Rupert route and the Prince Rupert-Haida Gwaii route.
“We’ve delayed this as long as we can because we’ve been looking at it for a little while,” says BC Ferries spokesperson Darin Guenette. “But ultimately the price differential between what we expected in marine diesel and what it is was too great.”
Bruce Carter, CEO of Victoria’s Chamber of Commerce, says businesses up and down the coast are angry about this most recent increase — and the secondary four per cent increase coming in April.
All pricing on BC Ferries is regulated by the independent B.C. Ferries Commission. The previous fuel surcharge was removed from all BC Ferries route in November 2012.
Source: CBC News