VICTORIA — Ticket prices are going up for B.C. Ferries passengers after the provincial government and ferry corporation failed to come to a deal over additional funding.

B.C. Ferries announced Tuesday it is removing the current “fuel rebate”, which had lowered ticket prices 2.9 per cent on major routes and 1.9 per cent on minor routes since spring of 2016.

The move, effective June 27, will raise the price of a passenger ticket from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen by 50 cents, to $17.20, and increase the price of a vehicle ticket by $1.70 to $57.50. Prices will rise between 30 to 70 cents per ticket on minor routes.

B.C. Ferries president Mark Collins said changes simply cover the rising cost of diesel fuel, which is the second largest expense for the corporation.

“We’re just doing what we’ve always done, and it’s tied to the world price of fuel,” Collins said Tuesday. “If the price of fuel goes down, then the rebate can come back and that will be a good news story. Equally, if the price continues to go up for whatever factor pushes it that way, we may get to a point a surcharge is required. B.C. Ferries doesn’t benefit from any of this. This is purely paying fuel suppliers.”

B.C. Ferries had originally announced the price increases in May, but was met with stiff resistance from Premier John Horgan’s government. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena had said she was “surprised and disappointed” at the move and invited B.C. Ferries to “come to the table to work with us to maintain the fare freezes and reductions that British Columbians have voted for.”

Trevena opened the door to government funding to compensate B.C. Ferries, but the two sides could not come to a deal after almost three weeks of negotiations.

“It was just not possible to agree to,” …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics


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