PT4 Fares, Economies and Sustainability

The Fare Cap

MAY 21, 2015 – The Ferry Advisory Committee chairs were pleased, and surprised, with the announcement of the 1.9% preliminary fare cap. Surprised, because with a nominal 2% inflationary increase in expenses, and the substantial capital program, we were expecting a much higher cap. Given the ground rules – existing service levels and assumed continuance of FY2016 service fee – we realize getting to a 1.9% fare cap was a major achievement. Any further reduction that might be considered between April and June would require additional accommodation.

Sustainability

Sustainability, the term, is borrowed from environmental science referring to ‘endurance of systems and processes’. We hear it referred to in terms of sustainability of the coastal ferry service, as if BC Ferries is in danger of no longer ‘enduring’. This seems to us like wondering if UBC or BC Transit or VGH or the Coquihalla Highway will ‘endure’. In fact, we believe that all four of those, as well as BC Ferries, will (and must) endure, hopefully in good health. That good health will depend primarily on adequate funding from governments and ‘customers’. All five are vital elements of the broad community infrastructure. The demise of any is inconceivable.

We are more concerned with the economic sustainability of the ferry-dependent communities served by the Minor and Northern routes, and Route 3. The ferry service is the economic life-line for these communities.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cumulative fare hikes felt in coastal communities

02 APRIL 2007 –  Compounded fare increases on most of BC’s ferry routes could reach an average of 85% over 2003 fares by the end of the next regulated service term.

Preliminary fare caps were released Friday for the second performance term (PT2) of the contract between the Province and BC Ferries. The large increases affect 22 routes serving BC’s ferry-dependent communities.

“We already have signs that people are using ferries less than expected because of increases to date, says Greg Aivazoff, Ferry Advisory Committee Chair in Powell River. “If this round of hikes cuts further into travel, then we’ll see big hits to coastal economies and to the contribution they make to BC tourism.”

Continue reading