VICTORIA – This Victoria Day long weekend, travellers on British Columbia’s coast will have to dig a little deeper to pay for the B.C. Liberal government’s failure to manage B.C. Ferries, say the New Democrats.
“This weekend, a family of four on the mainland will pay $151 more for a trip to Vancouver Island than they would have in 2001. Since the last May long weekend, the cost of travelling by ferry in this province has risen by an average of 7.5 per cent,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena.
At the same time, ridership has dropped by more than 8 per cent in the last year alone. On the Horseshoe Bay–Nanaimo route, ridership is down by nearly 4,700 fewer vehicles and 10,000 passengers.
“It’s a simple formula: as fares go up, ridership goes down,” said Trevena.
“Minister of Transportation Todd Stone likes to call his reckless cuts to ferry services ‘sustainable.’ But in reality, it’s his government’s fare hikes and service cuts that have made this system unsustainable, inaccessible and unaffordable.”
Communities up and down the coast are already feeling the effects of the Liberal government’s cuts to ferry services.
“The B.C. Liberal government needs to stop its destructive pattern of cuts and hikes, and make a real plan to keep our coastal highways accessible and affordable.”