General · 25th November 2013
I'm sure that you are as sick and tired as I am, to see that the "suits" from Victoria are coming back to "consult" with us about our ferry service.
If you recall last year's meeting, The Transport Ministry came to us, crying the blues about the ferry system continuing to lose money even though they had jacked up fares twice as much as they were 10 years ago. They announced then that they would be back to "consult" with us about "possible" service reductions.
Well, guess what folks! There is no "consultation", there are no "possible" service reductions. They have formulated a plan and they are coming here to announce to us, what they are about to do to further mess up our lives! Go to coastalferriesengagement.ca and have a look at what they have planned for the ferry system in this province. There is no consultation. They have a plan, and they are determined to shove it down our throats! Their plan is to cancel the 10 pm sailing, 7 days a week and also cancel the 11pm sailing on the weekend. Their reason for this is the lack of "utilization" of these runs. They have only considered the use of deck space on these runs and have not factored in the number of foot passengers. All of us know that there are usually more people in the lounge upstairs, than there are cars on the deck. There are also people who work shift work, both on Quadra and Campbell river who depend on this ferry to get home after work.
They have also announced that they are reducing the senior's discount to 50% for foot passengers from Mon. to Thurs. So, instead of riding for free, you pay 1/2 fare, whether it be experience card, or full fare. What they are not telling everyone is that BCF will continue to get the full fare price from the Province for each senior who rides, and also they will get the money from the fare increase. They are saying this is a way for BCF to "save" money. In fact it is nothing more than a fare increase for a select group of ferry users!
I strongly urge you to come to the meeting on Dec. 9th at QCC and tell these people what you think of their "consultation"
The really depressing thing about all of this is that this will do nothing to solve the financial difficulties of BCF. The real problem is the exorbitantly high fares and the subsequent falling ridership, along with the Province's refusal to fund this system at the same level as any other piece of transportation infrastructure in the province. Presently, ferry users pay 92% of operating costs, and all other transportation users (BC transit,sky train, west coast express etc) pay in the order of 40% That's Right. This is out and out discrimination! So, make sure all of us are there to tell them what you think of their "consultation"