BC Ferries will be launching a new reservation and fare system this fall that aims to reduce congestion through variable pricing.

Between Good Friday and Easter Monday, about 103,000 passengers and 28,000 vehicles travelled between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen — a four per cent increase from last year, and part of a three-year trend of growing traffic over the Easter long weekend.

Previously, traffic over that weekend was up and down from year to year.

BC Ferries says it’s hard to know what’s behind the increase, but there is a solution in the works.

“We are looking to move to a reservation and fare system that will have some pricing promotions that will help to hopefully spread some of the vehicle traffic out right across our ferry system,” said BC Ferries’ manager of communications and media relations Astrid Braunschmidt.

This summer, BC Ferries will have special rates for less popular times.

In the fall, when the new system is expected to be launched, varied pricing will become permanent.

The goal is to reduce or even eliminate wait times.

Currently, reservations make up about 45 to 70 per cent of traffic on major routes.

Under the new system, it would cost no additional fee to make a reservation.

Calvin To