Tuesday, October 22, 2013

BC Ferries: Enjoy The Death Spiral While You Escape The Crowds...

...In The Scenic 'Seawest Lounge'.

Jack Knox has a piece in the Victoria Times Colonist today on a report/submission from the 'Ferries Advisory Committee Chairs', which is a group that represents coastal communities that depend on BC Ferries for all manner of things.

Interestingly, it would appear that the 'Chairs' were never taken over by the Golden Era quislings and cronies that Mr. Campbell (and his successor) have installed, willy-nilly, province-wide.

Why have I arrived at that conclusion?

Because the Chairs have just released a report that says something that we, and others, have been saying for some time now.

Which is that the constant fare increases (and, yes, that includes that bloody reservation fee) are driving down ridership and, thus, revenue:

...“This is an affordability death spiral,” the submission states. “It is the core problem facing coastal ferry service.”

The paper argues that instead of increasing revenue, fare hikes are choking off ridership. It predicts that means Ferries will miss budget targets by at least $20.5 million during its current four-year contract with the government...



There has been quite a bit of caterwauling from the usual suspects recently about executive compensation at BC Ferries, approved, of course, by the above mentioned cronies and quislings.

Which I agree is an issue.

But a bigger issue, I think, is the fact that it would appear that that the very same, very well compensated executives do not have to travel on BC Ferries regularly like the rest of us.

Why have I arrived at this second, somewhat more tentative, conclusion?


Firstly, because I spend lots of time walking the Whackadoodle up and down a little strip of sand where the North Arm of the Fraser meets the Georgia Straight, I see those Helijets filled to bursting with cronies, quislings and executive types (but never ever uber-fine fellows dressed in Spiderman garb) whipping by non-stop.

Secondly, every time I cross the Straight on a ferry that luxurious Seawest Lounge pictured above, which was built to buffer said executives, cronies and quisling from the great unwashed, sits pretty much empty.

In fact, much of that luxury seating sat unused, on both trips we took, coming and going, on the Thanksgiving Weekend just past while the regular riders paying the salaries and stipends of said executives, cronies and quislings (eg. families with small kids) were were forced to sit on the floor in steerage due to the lack of seats.


You can read the full submission of the Chairs, here....Gosh, wonder how long it will take the Snooklandians to get rid of them now?....I mean, it's not like they haven't gotten rid of truth tellers before...Right?



Anonymous said...

Hi RossK, just a guess but I've wondered a while what could be the desired outcome here.

Starving the ferry-served communities, just the same as the rail-served ones have been. Driving down real estate prices in the desirable Gulf Islands and other pristine areas.

Followed by privatization of the ferry system of course, and a sell-off to friendly investors.

Then a foreign-ownership real estate boom?

We in BC, as in the rest of Canada, are in the cross-hairs of international energy and resource extraction devils, and the power and money they bring to bear corrupts our elected government and their appointees.

Those devils like our clean air, water both fresh and salty, our natural vistas, our remaining fish and wildlife too.

- Jonku

e.a.f. said...

Now that would be fun! All ferry executives have to take the ferries, no heli-jets.

The ever increasing ferry rates have simply decreased ridership. Doesn't matter what the government says. Who believes them anyhow? Given the population in B.C. grew, you would think ferry ridership would grow. No it went down.

Many simply don't use the ferries because of the expense. Just a few years ago you could take a ferry, at reduced rates, which was about $30 less than it is now, each way. For a weekend over in vancouver/island people currently have to pay out around $100. each way. Its faster to take Harbour Air and cheaper also, some times. they offer discounts.

People who used to retire to the Island now say, NO, the ferries cost too much. I used to use the ferries every two or three months. No more. I simply refuse to pay that kind of money with no corresponding reason. We know why B.C. Ferries is in debt, thank you Gordon Campbell

off-the-radar said...

Took the ferry to Saltspring the other weekend (first time in four or five years). It was $56 for a day trip return. Ouch. I can't afford that.

I used to take the ferry and drive to Vancouver three or four times a year. Now I take the car once a year (at the most) and just go less altogether.

cfvua said...

Maybe, just maybe the fares are set high enough to deliberately put the lounge dwellers on those privately owned air services. For, well, the benefit of those "free" enterprise entrepreneurs who love to say they don't want any govern ment interference in "their" business. Better to have empty ferries than empty choppers after all. In the interest of profit of course. And where would the preem have stealthy conversations if not at the helijet terminal. Surely not on a ferry!