(Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

(Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

BC Ferries cuts fares for passengers and standard vehicles

Fares for all northern, inter-island routes cut by 15 per cent as of April 1

It’s no joke — Haida Gwaii ferry fares got cheaper on April 1.

BC Ferries has cut fares by an average of 15 per cent for all northern routes, and seniors can ride the Alliford Bay — Skidegate Landing ferry for free from Monday to Thursday (except holidays).

For trips between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert, islands residents will now pay a regular adult passenger fare of $32.90, down from $38.70. The standard vehicle fare is now $117.70, down from $138.50.

(For regular passenger and standard vehicle tickets, Haida Gwaii residents are charged the cheaper off-peak, or winter fare year-round.)

“Our present financial position allows us to use some of our net earnings to reduce fares for our customers,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ president and CEO, in a press release.

Besides the northern route reductions, BC Ferries also cut fares by an average of 15 per cent for all inter-island routes and the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale.

B.C. senior passengers travelling on major and inter-island routes can also board for free from Monday to Thursday. Previously, such travellers received the province-wide seniors’ discount of 50 per cent.

Reservation fees have also fallen to $10, down from $15, for customers who book a week in advance.

The B.C. government and BC Ferries agreed to fund the fare reductions at a cost of $43.2 million in the 2019 fiscal year, and $54.8 million in the fiscal year 2020.

Over those two years, BC Ferries will contribute $39 million for fare reductions while the province will pay $59 million for fare reductions and the increased B.C. seniors discount.