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BC Ferries to add fuel surcharge due to rising gas prices

Last Updated Jun 3, 2019 at 9:16 am PDT

The Spirit of Vancouver Island. (Source: BC Ferries)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Starting June 1, BC Ferries will be adding a fuel surcharge of 1.5 per cent due to the rising fuel costs.

This works out to a 25-cent increase for adults and 85-cents for cars on all Metro Vancouver-Island routes and 15-cents and 45-cents respectively for inter-island trips.

“Over the past 15 years, BC Ferries has been using a fuel rebate/surcharge mechanism to manage the volatility in the price of fuel,” said BC Ferries in a statement, noting the company applies a fuel rebate when fuel prices lower.

RELATED: Some discounted BC Ferries fares coming this year

“Despite fuel switching and other initiatives to burn fuel more efficiently, a fuel surcharge is now necessary. Fuel is our second largest expense,” said CEO Mark Collins in a statement. “We know that the affordability of travel is important to our customers, and we will continue to take measures to reduce our fuel consumption further through the introduction of diesel-electric battery hybrid vessels.”

The fuel surcharge will be applied to all routes except Port Hardy-Prince Rupert, Prince-Rupert-Haiwa Gwaii, and Port Hardy-Central Coast. BC Ferries says those routes have a separate mechanism concerning fuel costs.

Consumers shouldn’t be penalized for rising gas prices: CTF

Kris Sims with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it’s expensive enough to travel on a ferry as it is. Factoring in what drivers pay at the pumps makes it worse.

“Keep in mind they’re also eating the high cost of gasoline themselves. Not only are they paying more to put it into their own tank to get to work or to come over here to the mainland, or to go over to the main Vancouver Island,” she says. “They’re paying more just for the ticket.”worse.

She doesn’t see where the costs are coming from.

“The ferries themselves run on marine diesel, and natural gas. So I’m curious to see if they haven’t been able to somehow strike a deal with the government to see if they can have a lower rate, to have them exempt from increased carbon taxes,” she says.

B.C. Ferries is attributing the change to the price of fuel.

But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation argues B.C. Ferries can do better than raising prices.

Between this and high gas prices in the Lower Mainland, commuters can’t win, and she says the company needs to turn its attentions elsewhere.

“Tell that B.C. Government to get with the rest of Canada, and the majority of provinces. Cancel the B.C. Carbon Tax, it’s not working, it goes straight into general revenue,” she says.

The B.C. Utilities Commission has been tasked by the premier to look into those high gas prices.