Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BC Ferries extends ferry ticket discounts until end of February

With the Skidegate to Prince Rupert run to be suspended for the month of January, the idea of a seat sale just didn't seem to have the same kind of lustre as it might have for the travelling public of the North coast.

And with that in mind, BC Ferries has decided that on that Northern route the thirty three percent discount will be extended until the end of February.

The Ferry corporation has been forced to suspend sailings due to necessary modifications required to the docks in Skidegate in preparation for the Northern Expedition which is set to arrive in March to begin its duties on the Northern routes.

The Daily News featured the Ferry Corporations decision as their front page story in Wednesday's paper.

Passengers will be able to get one-third off ticket price for an additional month
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Page one

Provincial Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon announced Tuesday that BC Ferries will extend its 33 per cent fare reduction through February for passengers taking the Skidegate-to-Prince Rupert ferry.

There had been some concern that the ferry province-wide reduction in rates during December and January would not benefit locals as much as travellers in other parts of B.C. because the local ferry was to be out of the water for the first month of the year.

"We will be extending that seat sale for the Prince Rupert-to-Skidegate ferry until the end of February to recognize the fact that obviously the ferry is not running in January," said Falcon on Tuesday.

Falcon said the provincial government realized they had overlooked the fact that the ferry would not be running when the original announcement was made back in October.

"In an interest in fairness, there was no question in my mind that the right thing to do is extend that discount," said Falcon.

He added that the government had been mulling over the option of extending the seat sale locally for the past couple of weeks because it had not really thought about the work being done to upgrade the Skidegate dock in January in advance of the arrival of the Northern Expedition, which is expected sometime in March.

Falcon was also pleased with the BC Ferry commissioner's decision to eliminate the fuel surcharge for the time being.

The ferry commissioner's office stated that it recognized significant changes in the futures market for crude oil, and a BC Ferries' report that the company's hedging program has effectively locked in the price of a substantial portion of its fuel purchases out to April 2009.

"I'm really pleased that it is happening sooner than we though it would. One of the reasons we did the fare reduction until the end of January was because by that time we had hoped the balance of the fuel surcharge would be removed.

"It's come off earlier than we anticipated and I'm just thrilled," said Falcon.

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