The provincial government has announced its plans to begin what it calls a “comprehensive review” of the BC Ferries beginning in January.
In a release, the government said the review is meant to evaluate BC Ferries’ performance in meeting the needs of ferry users and British Columbia’s coastal communities.
“Ferry dependent communities have had concerns for years about rising ferry fares and changes to service levels,” a spokesperson for the Transportation and Infrastructure told Daily Hive on Friday, adding that the government “recognizes the negative affect these changes have had on coastal communities.”
The goal of the review is to examine whether the contracted ferry services are being provided for in a manner that “best supports the public interest.”
Moreover, the government wants to ensure that the system is working” as efficiently and effectively as possible” for British Columbians.
Under the terms of reference, the government said the review will:
- Examine whether the contracted ferry services are being provided for in a manner that supports the public interest.
- Consider what changes to the price cap and regulatory model would ensure the ferry system is working as efficiently and effectively as possible for all British Columbians, and, in particular, for the ferry users and communities who depend on this essential service.
- Identify opportunities and recommend actions to enhance ferry service delivery and/or reduce costs without impacting existing service.
The province has also hired Blair Redlin, former deputy minister of transportation and former CEO of the BC Transportation Financing Authority, as a special adviser to oversee the review.
Once the review gets underway next month, the final report will be delivered to the government by June 2018.
The review is expected to cost approximately $250,000, inclusive of all fees for technical expertise, research, and analysis under the terms of reference to support the review process.