After reading BC Ferries' response, do you still agree with Sean Smith's rant?
10 Comments

  • James play - 6 years ago

    Let the CEO and the upper management go .Cut prices in half and you would start making money.

  • Jerry - 6 years ago

    All | know is that I used to travel to Vancouver Island a couple times a year when the ferries cost $45 with my car. Now that the price is around $80 one way with a passenger, I have only been once in the past 5 years. I remember Vancouver Island as a thriving, beautiful place. Last time I went to Victoria, I saw a city going under. Most of the businesses I came across had SALE SALE SALE or For Sale signs on them. I'm no economist, but when store owners are chasing you out the door and offering you their shirt, you know they're in trouble.

    What's the problem?

    Once you pay for gas for your car, the ridiculous ferry fares, and buy a $8 candy apple, most people lose their appetite for "other" expenses such as gifts, , shows, or other things. I'm not surprised to see the Island struggle. This situation will be worse, and worse, until Vancouver Island decides to become its own province, build a bridge, or find a better way to serve communities.

    Why do ferries in Washington state cost like $35? Last time I was there, they weren't even busy but somehow kept affordable, BC Ferries is more often than not packed with people, but their service only benefits them as the vast majority of people on the ferries HAVE to be there. Tourism to the island is dying thanks to privatization.

    And not to offend anyone, but why do people at the ticket booths, cash registers, janitors, etc get such high wages? $25 an hour to flip burgers? Ridiculous. Only in BC.

  • Linda Owens - 6 years ago

    I grew up on Vancouver Island and always enjoyed taking the ferries to the mainland and other islands. I had a school friend who lived on Salt Spring and took the ferry every day to school. When it became privatized, and I went on the ferry as an adult I felt the boats ran more efficiently with more options available. My parents enjoyed the private lounge for an additional cost. The last time I went across to the island to visit my Nana was with my parents and boyfriend in Feb 2011. It cost $200 round trip which I thought was rather steep. I too, mostly go on foot. I think a passenger only ferry is a great idea.

    To put the cost in perspective; here in Queensland, Australia, we pay $178 round trip to take our car over to Magnetic island, a distance of only 5km. They have a passenger ferry as well, which is reasonable for $30 RT. Further south, in Victoria, we paid $130 to take a car on a 45 minute ferry ride from Sorrento to Queenscliffe, so you could be paying a lot more. We have also paid $25 round trip to cross a croc infested river with our car up at Cape Tribulation

    Having said that, I think the BC ferries are big business and I don't see their fares going down. I think they could reduce the cost to make it more affordable with the sheer volume they take across. I don't see Sean's post as a "rant" He is merely expressing some common sense, good ideas. It is important to keep big business accountable and it sounds like they have lost a lot of business due to the escalating costs. In the long run, they would do better to reduce the costs, and make more money by increasing passenger loads, ie: wooing those back that couldn't afford to take their cars before.

  • Bernie Brockway - 6 years ago

    Build a bridge between Vancouver Island and Mainland at least it will not break down as often plus will not need thousands of employees and Upper management

  • Kevin - 6 years ago

    There will always be people that rant and complain about all by thing. To pay $75 to cross an ocean with your car is incredible. Give me a break. It'd like people complaining about high airfare. ..think of 100 years ago..when people dreamed of being able to cross oceans and fly across a country at 40000 feet in 4 hours... it's amazing. So if you find yourself losing sleep in a compete rage or having a tantrum about paying your $14 to ride a very safe ferry through some amazing areas with incredible views..maybe it's time for you to stay home ...but I better not find out your spending $100 a month on cigarettes or alcohol. Can you find somewhere in your budget to save $14 so you can take that ferry to see a loved one...or tour through this beautiful province of ours.

  • Chris - 6 years ago

    It really is no surprise that ridership is at 20 year lows when the cost of traveling to or from the mainland rivals the float planes when you get a cheap fair.

    You talked about closing the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay run but then have two ports serving Nanaimo. Why are you not talking about consolidating the ferries to Nanaimo at least to one terminal from two, and maybe sell the land for development at Departure Bay, creating a new downtown by the water? I'm sure that would fetch some nice cash.

    So if fuel costs are so high, why not explore passenger only ferries that aren't so big? With transit from Tsawwassen improved more people are walking on, maybe that's something to explore? Maybe even the Gulf Island could be served by a mixture of passenger only ferries and the traditional ferries as well.

    There are simple things that could be looked at. Let's not play the usual rhetoric. I'd like to visit my family on the mainland more without handing over an entire paycheque soon to get there.

  • Joy Thompson - 6 years ago

    The price is ridiculous. End of story. The parking prices are also ridiculous, for those of us who have tried to save money by parking our cars and walking on. Monopolies just don't work, and BC Ferries is the most outrageous monopoly I have ever seen.
    Saying that you are trying to keep costs down is a joke, that is not at all funny. In the 14 years I have lived in BC, ferry costs have gone up, up and further up.
    Don't insult the public's intelligence any more, please. We know you've got us where you want us and we are not happy about it.

  • Bill - 6 years ago

    Just got one question. How many office worker are there or better known as paper pushers, compared to the people actually working on the ships?

  • Sean Salway - 6 years ago

    I first moved to the island in 1985. I would ride the ferry constantly visiting my friends on the mainland. In 1995 I moved back to the mainland with my new wife who grew up on the island thus having her entire family living on the island. We would travel to the island at least once per month so she could see her family, friends, and the family i still have living there. The costs kept going up and the service kept going down. Assured loading passes came in and suddenly we were waiting 3 sailings as people just pulling into the lot were driving right onto the ferry because it generated more income for the corp.We started walking on to save money. There is no student rates so as our kids became 12 yrs old we had to pay adult fairs for them, the reason being "adult sized life jackets". Really? I came to hate travelling the ferries as i was treated very rudely on numerous occasions by workers at all levels from ticket booth to the chief stewards. Having lounges locked when no other seating was available for my family of five and having the steward tell me we could sit on the floor for all she cared. The arrogance of the employees was incredible. I have many, many stories. Now we travel to the island once or twice per year, and only when necessary. I am living proof of why revenues are down. I would never use BC Ferries again if i didn't have family on the island. $280 round trip last time we drove with my wife and three kids, two of which are still students. 60 km for $280 is ridiculous. High prices, poor service, rude arrogant employees. Not for me as much as possible. Keep losing money till you lose it all and somebody reasonable takes over and makes it affordable to visit the island again

  • Adreen Linley - 6 years ago

    As someone who only sees her daughter 3 or4 times a year due to the fact she lives in the Island , I find BC ferries explanation pathetic. The suggestions by Mr Smith were valid and innovative ways to save money and make the rides more affordable. When my daughter and I travel now we do it as foot passengers instead of drivers as we did in the past. At an average lose to BC ferries of approximately$130 per roundtrip visit that adds up to a $520 loss from just our family alone. There are twice as many foot passengers as there was 10 yrs. ago and the price of the crossings have doubled. I also know a lot of people who fly now due to the narrowing gap in the cost. The ferries are part of the highway system that now only the elite can afford. We ride the seattle /Bremerton ferry all the time which is $14.90 including tax one way for driver and car. These ferries are clean, efficient, well manned and affordable. They give me what I require to travel a level surface to park my car for the crossing. The BC government and BC ferries Corporation have lost touch with what their mandate is which is to serve the citizens of BC . Time for a re- haul them both !!!

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