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BC Ferries drops fuel surcharge on tickets

Last Updated Dec 16, 2019 at 1:45 pm PST

(Riley Phillips for NEWS 1130)
Summary

BC Ferries is removing a fuel surcharge on Dec. 17, 2019

The 1.5 per cent levy meant passengers were paying anywhere between 25 to 85 cents more to travel

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC Ferries says as of Tuesday, it will drop the 1.5 per cent fuel surcharge currently being applied to the cost of each ferry ticket.

The company says the recent decrease in the price of fuel allows for removal of the surcharge. Deb Marshall speaks for the service and says the use of the levy depends on the cost of fuel.

“Over the past fifteen years, we’ve been using a fuel rebate surcharge mechanism, so that just helps smooth out the cost of fuel for BC Ferries,” she says. “Fuel prices have been dropping, so it puts us in a good position. We’re able to remove that 1.5 per cent fuel surcharge.”

Marshall adds the company does not benefit financially from rebates or surcharges and only uses the mechanism as a way of assisting the company when fuel is more expensive than usual or reimbursing consumers when fuel costs dip below average.

“We certainly don’t generate any revenue or anything off that, but it is a tool we’ve used on and off over the past fifteen years, and we’ll continue to do so.”

When it last went into effect in June, the surcharge drew the ire of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, saying it was unfair to slap riders with the high costs of fuel.

The 1.5 per cent levy meant passengers were paying anywhere between 25 to 85 cents more to travel between the mainland and the Island.

“What it means for a passenger on a major route is 25 cents, and for a vehicle on a major route, it’s 85 cents,” Marshall says.

Inter-island trips were seeing up to an additional 45 cent charge.

With files from the Canadian Press