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Advisory Committee Chairs speak out against fare increase

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The cost of riding the ferry is going up. Another round of fare hikes on BC Ferries kick in April 1st. The average increase is around four per cent.

On the Langdale-Horseshoe Bay route, fares go up 70 cents for passengers and $1.90 per vehicle. Rates are going up 75 cents per passenger and $2.00 dollars per car on the Nanaimo-Horseshoe Bay run.

The Ferry Advisory Committee Chairs are calling on the province to reconsider, saying the fare hikes are just prolonging some inevitable problems. FACC Co-Chair Tony Law says the latest round of schedule changes were supposed to make the system more sustainable, but it’s not working.

Law says the government needs to acknowledge adequate funding is required. Law says the user-pay ideology has pushed fares past the tipping point, at a time when vehicle and passenger numbers are already at an all-time low. He questions why BC users pay almost 100 per cent of the operating costs, when governments in other parts of the world pay a lot more towards the cost of running ferries.

Law says Transportation Minister Todd Stone has yet to sit down with the members of the FACC to discuss how the fare hikes are crippling coastal communities.

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