November 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Full list of routes affected by BC Ferries changes, coming April 2014

BC Ferries is planning to reduce services on some minor routes and on the higher-cost northern routes, as part of an initiative to save $19 million.

These service adjustments will come in April 2014 with changes to major routes prior to April 2016.

The Port Hardy-Prince Rupert run will lose one-third of its sailings, and sailings to and from Denman Island will decrease by more than 1,300. See a full list below.

The government is also considering allowing the introduction of a pilot project to assess the viability of gaming on major routes on-board as a possible revenue source.

The pilot project would be implemented on BC Ferries’ busiest route between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen, and if successful, BC Ferries says gaming revenue would help reduce the pressure on fares.

Watch: Gambling on ferries?

There are also changes coming to the senior’s discount.

As of April 1, 2014, the current 100 per cent passenger fare discount received by seniors, 65 and older, travelling Monday to Thursday, will be reduced to 50 per cent on major and minor routes.

There will be no change to the current 33 per cent discount offered to seniors on the northern routes.

Full list of routes affected by April 2014:
Langdale – Horseshoe Bay
Annual utilization rate: 54.5 per cent

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Annual contracted round trips: 2,985
Annual round trip reductions: 40 (1.3 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $200,000

Vesuvius Harbour – Crofton
Annual utilization rate: 35.5 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 5,046
Annual round trip reductions: 605 (12 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $210,000

Earls Cove – Saltery Bay
Annual utilization rate: 26.3 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 2,878
Annual round trip reduction: 365 (12.7 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $750,000

Horseshoe Bay – Bowen Island
Annual utilization rate: 50.7 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 5,569
Annual round trip reductions: 234 (4.2 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $270,000

Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
Annual utilization rate: 42.2 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 830
Annual round trip reductions: schedule change only; no round trip reductions
Estimated net savings to 2016: $180,000

Port Hardy – Prince Rupert
Annual utilization rate: 39 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 122
Annual round trip reductions: 39 (32 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $3,820,000

Skidegate – Prince Rupert
Annual utilization rate: 42.5 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 191
Annual round trip reductions: 52 (27.2 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $1,900,000

Comox – Powell River
Annual utilization rate: 29.6 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 1,460
Annual round trip reductions: 94 (6.4 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $720,000

Texada Island – Powell River
Annual utilization rate: 25.6 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 3,648
Annual round trip reductions: 834 (22.9 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $950,000

Gabriola Island – Nanaimo Harbour
Annual utilization rate: 45.5 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 5,732
Annual round trip reductions: 834 (14.5 per cent) Estimated net savings to 2016:
$800,000

Chemainus – Thetis – Penelakut
Annual utilization rate: 29.1 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 4,380
Annual round trip reductions: 417 (9.5 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $160,000

Buckley Bay – Denman Island
Annual utilization rate: 41.2 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 6,149
Annual round trip reductions: 888 (14.4 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $660,000

Hornby Island – Denman Island
Annual utilization rate: 38.1 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 4,482
Annual round trip reductions: 422 (9.4 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $360,000

Quadra Island – Campbell River
Annual utilization rate: 41.9 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 6,253
Annual round trip reductions: 468 (7.5 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $370,000

Skidegate – Alliford Bay
Annual utilization rate: 20.2 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 4,482
Annual round trip reductions: 1,564 (34.9 per cent)
Estimated net savings to 2016: $1,200,000

Port Hardy – Mid Coast – Bella Coola (summer only)
Annual utilization rate: 29.5 per cent
Annual contracted round trips: 39
Annual round trip reductions: route to be cancelled
Estimated net savings to 2016: $1,450,000

The current winter connector service by the Nimpkish will be extended year-round, connecting Ocean Falls, Shearwater and Bella Coola to Bella Bella and the north-south Prince Rupert to Port Hardy service.

“I think it’s a false premise that you’re gonna be cutting service to people to save money,” says Claire Trevena, NDP ferry critic. “What we’re talking about here are the roads that people rely on, and so to say to somebody who lives let’s say in Burns Lake that their road is going to be closed for five hours because a survey has been done and it’s shown there are too few vehicles on it, the people of Burns Lake would be furious. And it’s just the same for anybody who lives in a ferry-dependent community.”

“These are their roads.”

Starting this week, a new round of community engagement gets underway, so that ferry users and other British Columbians can comment on these planned changes. Details of this engagement are available at www.coastalferriesengagement.ca

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