BC Ferries announced today it will be implementing a 1.5% fuel rebate starting April 1, which effectively passes on the recent declines in fuel costs to users of the ferry services.
Global prices for fuel have collapsed due to the depressed transportation sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Additionally, annual fare changes will be delayed to a yet-to-be-determined future date in response to the growing pandemic situation. Traffic volumes on the provincial ferry network have fallen by 40% as of last week, prompting the ferry corporation to cut some sailings on the major routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
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“The company also announced it is delaying annual tariff adjustments in light of the COVID-19 situation and the impact it is having on customers,” reads a bulletin.
“BC Ferries closely monitors the price of fuel and applies a rebate or surcharge, or neither, under a regulatory process that is independent of fares.”
Traffic volume are expected to worsen over the short-to-medium term, with the coronavirus’ spread and BC Ferries’ new plea today requesting the public and businesses to only use the ferry services if travel is absolutely necessary.
BC Ferries has taken a series of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus on vessels and at terminals, including enhanced cleansing and disinfecting, increased signage on physical distancing and proper hand washing technique, the closure of hot food outlets, and permitting passengers to remain in their vehicles on enclosed decks.
Up until December 17, 2019, BC Ferries users were paying a 1.5% fuel surcharge due to higher and more volatile fuel costs, with the surcharge used to cover the additional fuel costs.