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BC Ferries wants to implement airline-style reservation system

VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – BC Ferries says its customers should have the opportunity to access an airline-style reservation system to book discounted fares online at off-peak travel times.

The company has submitted a plan called the Fare Flexibility and Digital Experience Initiative to the BC Ferries Commissioner as part of an efficiency operation to reduce the pressure on potential fare increases.

BC Ferries President Mike Corrigan says the potential fare discounts haven’t been determined, but the current reservation-fee system will be dropped for customers who book online while travellers who arrive at the ferry terminal without booking will pay a higher fare.

He says the initiative would use information technology to modernize the way BC Ferries sets pricing, sells travel, manages loads and includes opportunities to offer discounted fares at off-peak travel times.

Corrigan says the plan, which won’t be ready until 2017, will cost up to $15 million to implement, but could be paid off within three years and increase traffic by up to five per cent.

He says the goal of the plan is similar to an airline where 98 per cent of their customers pre-pay before travelling.