The B.C. coastal ferry service has been wrestling for more than 20 years with cost pressures that threaten the financial sustainability of the system from factors such as high fuel costs, declining ridership and aging assets. Accordingly, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure engaged coastal communities and ferry users from across the province on strategies to be part of a solution to achieve a ferry system that is both functional and financially sustainable.
Planned changes included:
- Service Adjustments
- Seniors’ Discount
- Gaming Pilot Project
- Reservation System, Time-of-day Pricing, and Loyalty Programs
- Supplemental Private Passenger-Only Service
- Phase 1 of the public consultation was held from October 22, 2012 to December 21, 2012
- Phase 2 of public consultation was held from November 18 to December 20, 2013
- 7,864 participants interactions in total
- 2,293 feedback forms received
- 3,707 participants attended 23 consultation events
- 1,335 written submissions were received
- Senior ministry staff hosted 40 public consultation meetings in 30 communities, along with one webinar. More than 2,000 people attended the public meetings and almost 2,000 feedback forms and written submissions were received.
- 529 people were randomly selected to participate in an online public opinion poll
Input leads to action:
- The phase two Coastal Ferries Consultation and Engagement Summary Report was released February 5, 2013 summarizing the input received during the consultation process from November 18 to December 20, 2013.
- After reviewing the Report, the Province confirmed $18.9 million in service reductions to be implemented beginning in spring 2014 to better align service levels to demand.
- Government also is proceeding with a reduction in the seniors’ discount, and will pursue a gaming pilot project
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