While BC Ferries will be restoring sailings that were cut back in 2o14, two northern routes -Route 10, Port Hardy to Prince Rupert and Route 26, Skidegate to Alliford Bay — will take longer to implement due to operational changes involved, such as hiring new crews.
However, for the rest of the routes, starting April 1, 2019, sailings will be restored to the majority of ferry routes that were cut in 2014, making it easier for people in coastal communities to get around.
“Adding these additional sailings will be a huge help to people living in coastal communities who rely on ferries for day-to-day travel,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Along with reducing and freezing fares — now in its second year— our government is committed to ensuring ferry service meets the needs of island families up and down the coast.”
The ministry worked with BC Ferries to respond to the BC Ferry Advisory Committee chairs’ request to restore some services cut in 2014 and have reached an agreement to return these services over the next year, with the majority starting April 1.
Route 6, Crofton to Vesuvius will see full implementation of the new schedule on May 1.
Ferry fares will continue to be frozen in 2019. Last year, government provided additional funding to BC Ferries to reduce fares on the smaller and northern routes by 15 per cent, froze fares on the major routes and reinstated the Monday-to-Thursday 100 per cent discount for seniors’ passenger fares.
The agreement will see over 2,700 additional round trips added to schedules on 10 minor and northern routes.
– Gazette staff