BC Ferries to hike fares in January

BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan announces 3.5 per cent fuel surcharge on most routes beginning Jan. 17.

Customers on the BC Ferries route between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert will be spared, but riders on most other routes will be subject to a 3.5 per cent fuel surcharge beginning Jan. 17, BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan announced last week.

Citing world fuel market conditions that have seen BC Ferries diesel fuel cost spike, Corrigan said the corporation is paying roughly 14 cents per liter more than the commissioner-approved set price included in its current fares.

Similar fuel surcharges, as well as fuel rebates, have been levied by BC Ferries in recent years and have been temporary measures. But Corrigan warned the current surcharge will be in place for the foreseeable future.

“Market pricing indicates that the price differential will continue throughout the year,” he said in a written release. “We are well aware that implementing a fuel surcharge is unpopular with our customers, and we are doing everything we can to keep our fuel costs as low as possible, including building new ships with LNG (liquefied natural gas) capability.

“We have waited as long as we can to implement a surcharge, however we must act now as it is clear that fuel prices are unlikely to decline in the foreseeable future.”

The Prince Rupert-Haida Gwaii route will also be spared the surcharge. But customers riding the Tri-Island route connecting Port McNeill with Sointula and Alert Bay will notice a slight increase later this month.