Documents and FAQ
B.C. Coastal Ferries Consultation and Engagement
Summary Report and appendices
Consultation and Engagement Summary Report released - March 5, 2013, PDF
Government begins open consultation on future of B.C. coastal ferries. October 29, 2012, PDF
BC Ferry Commissioner
- What are you consulting about?
- The Province is committed to a long-term vision to connect coastal communities in an affordable, efficient and sustainable manner. However, the cost of operating the coastal ferry system is going up and the utilization rate is going down, threatening the sustainability of the coastal ferry system. This consultation has two parts:
- Immediate Challenge: The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, working with BC Ferries, has identified considerations to achieve $26 million in savings to 2016. The first part of this consultation and engagement seeks feedback on those considerations.
- Long-Term Vision: The second part of this consultation and engagement invites feedback on what elements should be pursued to connect coastal communities in an affordable, efficient and sustainable manner, in the long-term.
- How can I participate in the consultation and engagement?
- There are multiple ways you can participate in the B.C. Coastal Ferries Fall 2012 Consultation and Engagement. We invite you to provide feedback through:
- Will there be service reductions?
- No decisions have been made on specific reductions, other than the modest reductions to the major routes already announced. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is consulting on considerations to achieve $26 million in savings to 2016.
- Why did the government already approve $4 million in cuts before consulting?
- To address their immediate financial challenges, BC Ferries submitted a request to the Province last year to make modest reductions to the routes connecting Vancouver Island to the Lower Mainland. The reductions were made to sailings that are underutilized and they helped to reduce the pressure on fare increases that were recently announced by the Ferry Commissioner.
- What about new vessels - does this mean there is no money for new ferries?
- The Province and BC Ferries are committed to a long-term vision to connect coastal communities in an affordable, efficient and sustainable manner. To ensure that all future capital investments are consistent with that vision, the Province amended the Coastal Ferry Act last spring to provide the BC Ferry Commissioner with the responsibility to approve all major capital expenditures and BC Ferries long term capital plans. Any new vessel is considered a major capital expenditure. Also, as part of this consultation, the Province is asking British Columbians for their innovative ideas to support the vision. The combination of these efforts will ensure that there is funding available to pay for new vessels.
- What about using smaller ferries? If you are running the current vessels half full, wouldn't it save on fuel and labour to run smaller vessels?
- The Ferry Commissioner recommended standardizing vessels - small, medium and large - to make it easier to switch them around on different routes and for crews to switch between different vessels. That is something that we've listed in our long-term vision for British Columbians to consider.
- Will you be considering bridges or cable ferries to some of the islands?
- We are open to looking at a wide range of ideas to best connect coastal communities in an affordable, efficient and sustainable way. Bridges and cable ferries are two areas we have identified as potential options that could be further explored.
- Why doesn't the provincial government add an additional $26 million?
- There is a need to address the $26 million shortfall, the system overall is facing rising costs and declining ridership. Even with financial support, the service cannot continue at its present level or current prices without a significant adjustment.