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Meet BC Ferries

BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing year-round vehicle and passenger service on 24 routes to 47 terminals, with a fleet of 35 vessels. They are an essential transportation link that connects coastal communities and facilitates the movement of people, goods and services in our region.

BC Ferries’ President and CEO, Mike Corrigan, shares some initiatives underway.

What is happening with the Fleet?

We have several new ships being built that will improve the customer experience from a service reliability standpoint. Our new cable ferry, the Baynes Sound Connector, was built here in B.C. and uses less than half the fuel of a conventional ferry of its size. Our three new Salish-Class vessels are under construction, with the first one arriving in 2016. These dual-fuel ships will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or marine diesel, significantly reducing costs and emissions. Our largest vessels, the Spirit-Class, are also being converted to run as dual-fuel and will receive many further enhancements during their mid-life upgrades in 2017 and 2018. These new and improved ships will not only ensure customers have reliable service, but the savings in operating costs will reduce upward pressure on fares.

What other improvements are coming up? 

In 2017, we will be rolling out a new pricing model that will make it easier for customers to book travel and select discounted sailings. Similar to the promotion we offered this past fall, customers will be able to choose to travel at off-peak times to receive a discount. Our new booking system will make it easier to do business with BC Ferries by offering mobile friendly options for customers to select sailings and pay online. We are focusing on customer-facing IT improvements that not only enhance the online experience but also give us a better way to track customer travel patterns for future service improvements.

What can customers expect for fares?

I am happy to say that for the first time in several years, we have fare stability. We are also looking at a potential increase in fuel rebates based on the current price of oil. For the next four years, from April 2016 to March 2020, the average annual increase in fares is capped at 1.9 percent, at approximately the rate of inflation. This provides certainty and recognizes that customers have been calling for lower fare increases. It balances the interests of ferry users, taxpayers and the financial stability of BC Ferries. In 2016, we will also continue to offer discount promotions like we did last year, giving customers the option to save by planning their travel.

Fun Facts:
  • In fiscal 2015, BC Ferries delivered 171,000 sailings throughout coastal B.C., transporting 19.8 million passengers and 7.7 million vehicles
  • BC Ferries’ ships travel 3,273,258 kilometres annually, the equivalent of 82 times around the world
  • The Spirit-Class ships are the largest in the fleet, measuring 167.57 metres long, 1.7 times the length of a football field
  • BC Ferries catering operations are some of the largest in B.C., annually selling 187,000 bowls of clam chowder, 1.2 million hamburgers and 3 million slices of bacon
  • In the summer of 2015, BC Ferries diverted an average of 15,690 kilograms—the weight of nearly ten mid-sized cars—of organic material from the landfill every month through its composting program
  • BC Ferries employees contribute to marine research and have logged over 3,500 whale sightings to the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network since 1975
For more information about BC Ferries check out their Chamber Directory Listing or their website.


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