Ferry fares are not increasing on Gulf Islands routes this spring.
BC Ferries announced March 16 fares would be held steady on 21 of its 24 routes, with only the three major Lower Mainland-Vancouver Island routes seeing a 1.9 per cent hike.
In 2015, the BC Ferries Commission gave BC Ferries permission to increase fares by 1.9 per cent each year in “performance term four,” from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2020. That level is much lower than the averages of four to 8.23 per cent (on Gulf Islands routes) authorized in years between 2010 and 2015.
Last April rates went up in the Gulf Islands, but the increase was negated by a corresponding hike in the fuel rebate.
The company is also reducing reservation fees as of April 1. For customers who book seven days in advance, the drop is from $15 to $10. 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. 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,” states a press release.