Thursday, December 05, 2013

Which Run Is Really Losing Big Money At BC Ferries?


This from the Ferry Advisory Committee Chairs, which is a group working at arms-length from government that really appears to be doing its job, and doing it well:

...The Tsawwassen-Duke Point route has been losing money for at least ten years. In each of the last five years it has lost somewhere between $24 million to $30 million a year.

The route has an average capacity utilization of 48%. It could stand to lose one of its four shifts on weekdays for ten months a year and still have room for all its traffic. A combination of consultation and a revised reservation system could produce a schedule to accommodate the freight and commercial carriers who use the route heavily.

These cuts to Tsawwassen-Duke Point alone would save $9.6 million. The two profit-making major routes also could be trimmed more. With their massive scale, they can absorb cuts without the drastic impacts and community hardship that will be felt on the smaller routes...

Why are the little runs being whacked hardest instead of a 'big' money losing run like this?

And why doesn't the government, not to mention BC Ferries itself, listen to the Advisory Committee Chairs who really have come up with a sensible plan to both save money and save people from most of the pain of the cuts to come?

(am I asking rhetorical questions here, do you think?)

And remember when we had all kinds of arms-length committees doing real work that governments actually listened to (or, at the very least, could not ignore without feeling the wrath of the proMedia and, following on, the wrath of the public)....Instead, these days we get enabling codswallop like, say.....This.



scotty on denman said...


Well, because, although ordinary socio-economic prudence does not recommend it, Gordon Campbell's neo-right ideology demanded the privatization of publicly owned facilities and the destruction of public sector unions. Unable to get elected by that program, both unpopular and unnecessary, he lied about his intent to sell off BC Rail. Concealment was the essential ingredient of Campbell's reign; it was used to hide BC Rail's profitability so's to rationalize selling it; it was the prime intent of the bullshit "privatized" BC Ferries Services Inc.---to hide the books so the real owners can't see how executives are purposely opting for needless spending and expensive, off shore ship-builing when domestic shipyards would have saved millions and provided employment.

The BC Liberals can't come right out and say it, of course, but they've adopted the piecemeal, rather than the whole hog method of privatization (like they did with BC Rail) and targeted the peripheral ferry runs so's not to raise alarm. We little islanders have seen BCFS Inc. refer to us as "money-losing" runs in official literature and news releases for years as well as all manner of PABsters, trolls and cranks tell us they're tired of "subsidizing" our luxurious lifestyles (!). The proposed cable ferry to Denman and Hornby ain't about saving money; it's about installing a non-union, privatized operator to run the watery tramway; but the numbers BCFS Inc has been giving us to justify the proposal---on the ground of saving money---is yet to be believed around here.

There is the added Schadenfreude for BC Liberals, knowing their intentional dis-management and eventual privatization of BC Ferries also hurts a region of BC that does not vote for them.

Cable ferry construction was to have started two months ago yet there are rumours of accumulating engineering problems---many of which had been anticipated by islanders---that may explain the hold up. Otherwise, their is no prudent economic model that justifies this costly and unnecessary proposal---unless, of course, if it's one of those concealed ones.

e.a.f. said...

it isn't about saving money. if they wanted to do that, they would simply do what is necessary to make B.C. Ferries a Crown corp. again and get a lower interest rate. If they ain't doing that you know it isn't the money. they could cut the salaries of the executives and board of directors, but they ain't doing that, so we know its not about money.

whats it all about. well getting some of the smaller run privatized and then letting that friend, buy the whole thing. I'm sure they have someone waiting to buy the whole thing.

Now it maybe they want to depopulate the islands so developers can move in. it is lovely and tourist destinations make so much more sense to the lieberals than just ole' B.C. citizens, taxpayers living there and enjoying themselves.

Not really sure what the lieberals are up to, but they are up to something and it has nothing to do with saving money.