BC Ferries increasing prices in April, expands ‘Saver fares’ program

BC Ferries increasing prices in April, expands ‘Saver fares’ program
Nicholas Pescod
File photo.

BC Ferries says it’s expanding the number of people who can book discount sailings with its “Saver fares” program while also increasing the price of regular fares across the board starting next month.

Starting April 1, average fare prices across the BC Ferries operation will increase by 3.2 per cent.

Prices for a standard adult fare on the Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen route, for example, will rise 55 cents – while prices for drivers who pay at the terminal at any Metro Vancouver to Vancouver Island route will see an increase of $4.10.

Meanwhile, the number of people who will be able to reserve a discounted Saver fare booking between Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver is more than doubling in April, as well as along any route between the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island or Metro Vancouver.

BC Ferries says it’s expanding its Saver fares program to encourage more people to take less busy sailings, which will help ease congestion and streamline the travel process.

“By offering more discounts for those who book and pay in advance, we expect less congestion at our busier times, more passengers will be able to find space to travel at the times they want and fewer will experience sailing waits,” said BC Ferries president and CEO Nicolas Jimenez in a release Thursday.

“It’s nearly three times quicker for customers to check in with a Prepaid or Saver fare, so in addition to getting our best fares, the more people who book these, the better the experience we can offer for everyone.”

Discounts programs

To help encourage flexibility, BC Ferries is lowering its prepaid fare cancellation fee from $15 to $5.

Walk-on passengers are also being offered a new “Saver fare” of $15 on select sailings, down from the usual $19.10, if travellers book and pay in advance.

With the new changes starting in April, overheight vehicles will also now be allowed to book Saver fare reservations on sailings.

Saver fare bookings vary from sailing to sailing, but a limited amount are available on sailings that are expected to be less busy and not sell out. This usually occurs on early morning or late evening sailings, and sometimes on midday sailings during weekdays, or Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.

The Saver fare program started in 2021 with prices ranging from $49 to $79 for a car and a driver, depending on the sailing.

SEE ALSO: BC Ferries adds extra sailings between Victoria and Vancouver for spring break

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