The reversal of service cuts made by the previous BC Liberal government on ferry routes, including Crofton to Vesuvius, is welcome news.
“Glad to see that the Crofton/Saltspring ferry route is being expanded back to its original state,” remarked North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.
“The BC Liberals’ reckless ferry cuts and overall mismanagement had a devastating impact on ferry-dependent communities, especially coastal Indigenous communities,” noted Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes ferries as an extension of the highway system and that is working hard to restore affordable, reliable ferry service.”
The New Democrat government has increased service on 10 ferry routes that were cut in 2014, restoring 2,700 round trip sailings. The service changes came in response to the Redlin report, a comprehensive operating review of the coastal ferry service that identified opportunities to improve services under the current model.
The province will be amending the Coastal Ferry Act to implement some of Redlin’s recommendations and will also be establishing a new Coastal Ferry Stakeholder group to inform government and improve the delivery of ferry services.
Last April, government improved ferry services by reducing fares on smaller and northern routes by 15 per cent, freezing fares on the major routes and reinstating the 100 per cent discount for seniors’ passenger fares.