It wasn’t a surprise, but it’s certainly a disappointment that the provincial government is going forward with the service cuts and other changes they had proposed for BC Ferries.
Ferries has been going in the wrong direction for some time now.
And by that we mean decades. First, buying the floating palaces that almost never run even close to capacity on the major routes was a terrible mistake.
While the perks available on board may be nice, we think a lot of people would be in favour of a discount ferry.
Much like a discount airline, these boats could be a lot less fancy, with a lot fewer expensive bells and whistles, would have cost less to build and would cost less to run.
If people could get a discounted fare on such a boat, we think regular travellers would choose to take them in droves.
Let’s face it, nobody desperately needs a restaurant, video games, television and wifi on board.
There are plenty of people who would be happy to take a bag lunch (if they require food), sit in their vehicles for the duration of the trip or hang out in a basic
lounge with a book.
There still could have been room in the fleet for a couple of more opulent options for those who wanted to travel first class.
It’s pretty ridiculous that right now we run these big ferries with decks closed because they simply cannot staff them fully to have them open.
Most of the cuts that are now coming in April will come on the minor routes.
This kind of service reduction will really hurt the communities involved.
From people who count on the ferries as commuters, to tourists
whose options will be cut, fewer trips just compounds the problems many islands and more remote communities have already been facing with the rising ferry fares.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.
We think ferries are the highways of the coast and they should be provided for in the same fashion.
Ferries in the interior of the province already are.
We count on ferries to get around, but also to provide many of our necessities such as food, and retail goods.
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