VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC Ferries is still making money, just not as much as last year.
The ferry corporation blames the reduced fares with increased number of sailings during peak times for increasing the cost of operating expenses.
The company’s profits in the second quarter were $90.9 million, that’s $7.5 million less than the same time last year. Year-to-date net earnings were $96.9 million, which is $18.9 million less than the same period last year.
“To provide our customers with the service they expect from BC Ferries, we added sailings where possible on a variety of routes and extended schedules to meet demand,” Mark Collins, CEO, says in a press release. “BC Ferries provided 288 (640 year-to-date) additional round trips compared to the same time last year throughout the system and adjusted the schedules for the routes operating out of Horseshoe Bay terminal.”
Last April, fares were cut 15 per cent on all but three routes between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and now there are 640 extra round trips compared to the same time last year. A discount for seniors was also increased from 50 per cent to 100 per cent for trips from Monday to Thursday.
The company filed a performance term submission in September – which included a 12-year capital plan – to help the BC Ferries Commissioner create price caps for regulated routes, outlined in a contract between BC Ferries and the provincial government.
“In developing our plan, we recognize that decisions we make today must consider the way people will travel tomorrow,” says Collins. “We are planning for a more resilient ferry service that takes into account the energy transition to a lower carbon future and that can address customers’ interests in the areas of reliability, affordability and choice.”