The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay, seen from Horseshoe Bay terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

As far as ferry riders are concerned, lower fares are the most pressing area of improvement for the service.

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure released a report this week on a second phase of public engagement as part of a coastal ferry service visioning process.

Thirty-nine per cent of those surveyed said fares are the area of ferry service that needs the most improvement, while 18 per cent said scheduling needed the most work and 14 per cent pointed to sailing waits.

Some of the concerns about fares noted in the report were that unaffordability is increasing and that ferry service should be affordable for all community members.

Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said in a press release that the current ferry service works well for some, but there’s “lots of room for improvement” identified by residents of ferry-dependent communities.

“Our vision is that travel by coastal ferries is seamless, equitable and compatible with the needs of coastal communities and our natural environment,” Trevena said. “These may sound like basic principles for any transportation service, but these are all areas where we’ve heard improvements need to be made.”

The report noted that tourists, infrequent travellers and those with high household incomes were more satisfied with ferry service, while those who live in ferry-dependent regions and those with lower household incomes were less satisfied.

Among the survey respondents, more than two-thirds always or often bring a vehicle onto the ferry, but 53 per cent of respondents said better public transit connections would make them more likely to travel as a foot passenger.

The press release noted that Trevena will meet with the BC Ferries board, ferry commissioner and the B.C. Ferry Authority to discuss findings of the public engagement process.

A previous press release noted that the information gathered through public engagement will be used to “develop a provincial vision to guide the future of British Columbia’s coastal ferry service.”

RELATED: Transportation minister launches next ferry future phase for Island, Coastal communities

The ministry said the survey findings align with the B.C. government’s decision to provide BC Ferries with federal-provincial COVID-19 recovery restart funding. The ferry corporation is receiving $308 million.

Mark Collins, BC Ferries president and CEO, said in a statement that the restart funding will assist in its plan to provide “safe, reliable and affordable ferry service.”

RELATED: Horgan protests forcing BC Ferries passengers out of cars



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCFerries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(BC Hydro outage map)
UPDATE: Power restored to more than 3,000 Sooke residents

Two polling stations impacted by outage

Christopher Mauro, right, assistant manager of the Sidney Save-On-Foods, and Nick Luney, youth initiatives director for the Victoria Pride Society, celebrate the success of a pandemic fundraiser for the local Pride Society. (Courtesy Save-On Foods)
Grocery managers across the Island pull together for Queer youth

With Victoria Pride Parade and Festival cancelled, Save-On-Foods staff found a way to raise funds

The mottled sky, the lights coming on at water’s edge and in Victoria West, and the reflections on the building windows make for a scenic sunset photo in Victoria’s Selkirk neighbourhood. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Sunset on the Selkirk in Victoria

Send your photos to editor@vicnews.com for a chance to see them in the paper

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read