January 2017 Ferry Facts Update

BC Ferries continues to experience increased traffic year to date on most routes. Compared to last year, the total system vehicle and passenger traffic was up 4.6% and 3.3% respectively. Overall, Route 5 was up 3.4% for both vehicles and passengers with traffic to and from Mayne Island at 4.0% and 2.4% respectively. Route 9 traffic was up 6.8% and 5.0% for vehicles and passengers travelling to and from the Southern Gulf Islands. However, for some unknown reason Mayne Island traffic only increased a disappointing 3.9% and 2.2% for vehicles and passengers respectively. Note the BC Ferry year is from April 1 to March 31.

The Skeena Queen will be taken out of service for a refit from January 3 to February 8. The Bowen Queen is scheduled as the replacement vessel. However, the Queen of Cumberland may be used for certain peak traffic sailings on route 4 resulting in the Bowen Queen moving to route 5 during those times.

At the November meeting, the FAC requested a commercial fare freeze on route 5, providing it can be done by adding a nickel onto passenger fares as is now done. This freeze at $3.20/foot has been in place since 2009, providing substantial savings for Island businesses which translates into lower costs for Island residents.

The inter-island fare initiative is on hold as the BC Ferries Fare Team is now focused on the Flex Fare Project with a completion date of 2018. Although we are on the back burner, we’ve not been forgotten. We are disappointed since we had expected this to have been resolved sooner than later.

Although the new ferries (Salish Raven and Salish Eagle) will be wired for wi-fi, it won’t be provided initially due to existing problems with signal strength and service reliability.

The local Ferry Committee advises BC Ferries on fares and schedules. Mayne Island representatives are: David Maude (davemaude@hotmail.com), Diana King (diana@dianaking.ca) and Mike Sywulych (250) 539-5274 (mikesywulych@gmail.com). Ferry Facts is submitted by Mike Sywulych.

For further information please contact Mike Sywulych mikesywulych@gmail.com.

posted January 2017

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