I have a feeling that the BC Liberals are going to get the same treatment as Harper's Conservatives did, last Fall. My one concern is the lack of a third "big" party in the race, effectively making it a Liberal-versus-NDP battle. But who knows, Andrew Weaver is pretty good, he might win some seats, as well. But hopefully that doesn't split the vote for change.
They're really blowing smoke on the last sentence of that article. New 3 billion dollar, underused bridges and "fiscal house in order???"
* I am uncertain that this is the best place to put this. Go ahead, Mr. Moderator, and move this if you think it ought to be elsewhere ...
Stephen Hume: B.C. could learn from Alaska about the economic value of ferries
State finds keeping fares low pays monetary and social dividends
By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun Columnist March 2, 2016 5:51 PM
When the Union of B.C. Municipalities studied the economic impact of provincial ferries policy on coastal communities, Transport Minister Todd Stone scoffed.
The study, prompted by Strathcona Regional District director Jim Abram of Quadra Island and other municipal politicians, reported that slashing service on heavily promoted tourist routes while jacking up ferry fares faster than inflation caused an 11 per cent decline in passenger travel when ridership should have risen by 19 per cent.
Lost economic activity deprived B.C. of $2.3 billion. Government lost $609 million in forgone tax revenue. Then there were the tourist-dependent communities on Vancouver Island and the mainland which took a savage shellacking when tourists cancelled.
“Simplistic to suggest that just because someone may not have taken a ferry, they didn’t spend money in B.C. in some other facet,” said the minister, who represents the inland highways hub of Kamloops, where ferries under his ministry are, ahem, free. “The findings of this report are so massively overstated that you could drive a ferry through them.”
So much for UBCM’s request for a rethink of the funding policy for BC Ferries, which is portrayed as a vastly over-subsidized frill for entitled fat cats asking for ever-more subsidies. Except that if you take a look at the last financial report from the ferry corporation, it turns out that it’s not government that’s covering operating expenses, it’s those much-disparaged customers.
Examine the operating expenses line in the most recently filed financial statement and you discover that revenues from passengers recovered at the fare box and from food services and gift shops — and excluding subsidies for medical passes, seniors’ discounts and so on — represented about 110 per cent of the operating costs in 2015 and 106 per cent in 2014.
So much for all those slackers in coastal communities who don’t pay their own way.
Meanwhile, a new study of the economic impacts of Alaska’s ferry system suggests it’s not the UBCM study but the ideological prejudices of the transport minister through which one could drive a ferry.
“The Alaska Marine Highway study corroborates the findings of the UBCM study which our minister of transportation so quickly dismissed as irresponsible,” Abram says.
The Alaska report says that for every dollar the state invests in the ferry service it gets back $2.30 in direct economic benefits which range from providing jobs and stable incomes in remote communities to amplifying commerce by encouraging the movement of goods and services which tie together the state’s two major economic regions.
For the complete article click on the link below ...
Post by Low Light Mike on Mar 16, 2017 19:22:17 GMT -8
Not time for another fare hike, except for the major routes: - Did you know there is an election in May?
For Immediate Release 17-019 March 16, 2017
APRIL 1 TARIFF ADJUSTMENT ANNOUNCED
Reduction in reservation fees and no increase on vast majority of routes
VICTORIA – BC Ferries announced today that there will be no increase in the cost of ferry travel on April 1 for customers on the minor, northern and Horseshoe Bay – Langdale routes. In addition, the company is making it easier to book in advance by decreasing reservation fees. The cost of ferry travel did not increase last year, and for the second year in a row, BC Ferries is holding fares steady on 21 of its 24 routes.
Vehicle fares only on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen – Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay routes will increase by 1.9 per cent on April 1.
There will be no increase in passenger fares on these routes.
The company also announced a $5 reduction in reservation fees, from $15 to $10 for customers who book seven days in advance on reservable routes. Reservations made less than seven days and up to one day prior will decrease from $18.50 to $17. Reservations booked day of travel will decrease from $22 to $21. With these reductions, customers who book reservations will pay the same or less than they do today for the total cost of ferry travel. Reservation change fees will also be reduced from $9 to $5. BC Ferries encourages customers to make reservations as it allows the company to manage operations more efficiently.
In making the announcement, BC Ferries also advised that the buy-in level for Experience Cards will not increase on April 1. The cost of 10 assured loading tickets will increase from $1450 to $1550.
BC Ferries closely monitors the cost of fuel. The current fuel rebates of 2.9 per cent on the major and minor routes, and 1.9 per cent on the northern routes will remain in place at the present time.
While BC Ferries actively manages expenditures, tariff increases are necessary to cover operating costs and major capital replacement projects. The company needs to replace one ship per year on average in order to maintain safe, efficient and reliable service.
While BC Ferries actively manages expenditures, tariff increases are necessary to cover operating costs and major capital replacement projects.
As I've pointed out here before, note what is missing from the above statement.
So many organizations spend so much time fretting about costs, while not driving revenue growth. I've worked at private companies that spent every waking hour worrying about cost containment, while spending zero time thinking about revenue growth and the strategies required to do that. I've written here about some of the things BCF could do to drive revenue growth (peak pricing to induce demand shifting to lower utilization sailings, etc, etc). We're starting to hear a few rumbles from BCF about doing some of those things but not much concrete.
Post by Low Light Mike on Jul 21, 2017 14:05:04 GMT -8
Some fare relief to come soon:
From CHEK News:
Three key promises in the NDP campaign platform regarding B.C. Ferries is set to come into effect in the next few weeks.
The NDP platform specifies that fares on the major routes will be frozen, fares on minor routes will be rolled back 15 per cent and seniors will once again travel free during the week.
“We are absolutely committed to making sure that life is more affordable for people. And that includes dealing with ferry fares. They were out of control over the last 16 years when the liberal government just walked away from the island communities,” says Trevena.