BC Ferries is increasing their fares. Again. Despite the planned fare increases planned for later this year, BC Ferries will also be implementing a fuel surcharge to most sailings beginning January 17th. As a BC Ferries user (and student with little disposable income) I expect an understandable upset among the ferry riders – especially on smaller routes such as Buckley Bay and Quadra Island (Northern routes will not be affected by the surcharge). Unexpected increases in diesel prices are being blamed for the 3.5 percent charge and it will be interesting to see how the crown corporation handles the inevitable backlash from ferry riders.
As BC Ferries basically has for so long held a monopoly on island/mainland transportation, I’m thinking we might see some customers using alternative, and traditionally more expensive means such as flying over to Vancouver and vise versa.
BC Ferries will have to take careful consideration concerning customer retention, because as fares rise, commuters will no doubt become angry and will be looking for alternative ways to get where they are going.