Even though the deadline for public input has not yet passed, the BC Ferry Commission has already decided to allow BC Ferry Services Inc. to start charging an extra 3-percent fuel surcharge as of February 1.
The new charge is in addition to a 6-percent fuel surcharge which passengers started paying in July.
The Ferry Commission says it will still consider public input on the fare hike until Jan. 8. But in late December, it issued a preliminary decision to grant the higher surcharge in two steps. The first step – a 3-percent increase on northern and minor routes and 1.5-percent on major routes – takes effect Feb. 1. The commission will decide on possible additional increases in June after reviewing the situation and any new forecast information on fuel prices. The additional increase will depend on the outlook, but could be as high as 3-percent on northern and minor routes, and 1-percent on major routes.
In addition to approving the fuel surcharge, the Ferry Commission has asked BC Ferry Services to reduce its fuel consumption by 1-percent for next year and 2-percent for the following year, and to come up with a comprehensive fuel conservation plan by June 1.
The decision to allow BC Ferry Services to hike fares by 3-percent on Feb. 1 is preliminary and the Ferry Commission can withdraw or change it until Jan. 21. It says it will consider public input received before Jan. 8. You can e-mail your input to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 250-339-2753.
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