BC Ferries has announced the launch of new fare options that will be available for customers on three Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes.
BC Ferries is introducing the ‘Saver’ fare and a ‘Prepaid’ fare, which will both be immediately available for essential travellers and will become available for all passengers once it’s safe to resume non-essential travel.
The Saver fare will be a discount option for passengers, described as “BC Ferries’ most affordable fare.” The company says this new Saver fare will be available on select, less busy sailings throughout the year. The fare ranges from $49 – $73.70 and is aimed at passengers who have the flexibility to travel during less busy times.
The Prepaid fare lets customers book and pay for their full travel in advance, saving time at terminal check-in. This option enables customers to pay for both their reservation and full travel fare at the time of their booking. BC Ferries notes that customers can save $7.00 on their reservation fee when booking more than seven days in advance.
Both options will only be available for advanced purchase only, according to the company. The hope from BC Ferries is that both options will help reduce sailing waits at popular times, make better use of all sailings and help make the ferry system more efficient.
“Our routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island account for about 60 per cent of overall ferry traffic, so we are introducing our new fare choices on these routes first,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “When the Province lifts essential travel orders, these fare options will provide our customers more value, flexibility and certainty. They will also help spread traffic across the day, reducing sailing waits at popular times.”
The ferry company outlines that customers will still be able to drive up or walk up to the terminal, purchase a ticket and sail on the next available sailing.
READ MORE: B.C. extends provincial state of emergency due to ongoing pandemic
Customers will also still have the ‘Reservation Only’ option, which allows for the purchase of a reservation, followed by paying the remainder of the fare at the ticket booth.
The Saver and the Prepaid fare options will be available for advanced purchase on the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay), Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point) and Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay) routes.
For passengers looking to utilize the Saver fare, it will be immediately available at $73.70 (including a reservation) and will drop to $49 later this spring on select sailings.
BC Ferries acknowledges that it is implementing the new fare choices now to be prepared for increased demand once essential travel orders are lifted.
“This helps test the booking system and ensure a smooth process for customers once it is safe to resume non-essential travel,” reads a statement from the company.
The new fare choices will be available year-round.