Ferry ridership down while fares go up

The same month B-C Ferries hiked its rates, ridership tumbled on the major routes.

On April 1st, the Ferry Corporation increased fares by an average of 4.1 per cent for all routes — by the end of the month, ridership was down…and in some cases way down.

Take the Gulf Islands run — it saw a 20 per cent decline in the number of passengers leaving Tsawwassen — compared to April of 2012.

Passenger traffic on the main route between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay dropped 10 per cent in April, the Duke Point route saw a similar decline.

And between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo, ridership declined more than 7 per cent last month.

Tony Law is the Chair of the Denman-Hornby Ferry Advisory Committee and he says it’s part of a steady decline. “the Ferry Commissioner did point out a couple years ago that fares had reached the tipping point of affordability, and with these continuing increases at more than twice the rate of inflation, the pain is getting worse and worse for our communities.”

In addition to the fare hikes reducing ridership, Law points out most of the easter long weekend was in March.