Ferry users, including commercial trucks, can expect an annual fare increase by a maximum of 3.2% for the next four years, the British Columbia Ferry Commission announced Tuesday.
This final price cap for the sixth performance term, from April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2028, is lower than the 9.2% proposed in March. The additional $500 million in funding from the B.C. government helped to keep cap fares lower than anticipated, commissioner Eva Hage said in a press release.
“A maximum 3.2% increase in annual fares will, I believe, be sufficient to allow BC Ferries to meet the financial demands of the upcoming performance term, while at the same time providing British Columbians with safe, reliable and affordable ferry service.”
However, Hage adds the one-time funding is not a silver bullet, and the rising fuel prices, ongoing labor supply issues, and costs for maintaining an aging fleet will cause the operating costs to increase 40% in 2025, compared to 2022.
According to the press release, BC Ferries must prepare a plan outlining how it will track actual capital expenditures against this forecast, and how it will measure the cost and service effectiveness.
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