WATCH: BC Ferries is adding a fuel surcharge as high energy prices drive up the cost of travel. Tess van Straaten shows us how much it will be.
The May long weekend travel rush is starting early at BC Ferries.
“I’m just trying to beat the long weekend traffic,” a customer in line early Thursday afternoon told CHEK News.
This is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year and the start of the peak summer season.
But get ready to pay more starting June 1st.
BC Ferries is adding a 1.5 per cent fuel surcharge to all routes, except the northern ones, as high fuel prices drive up the cost of travel.
“What this fuel surcharge means for the average person is an additional 25 cents for adults, for a vehicle 85 cents on our Metro Vancouver to Vancouver Island routes and on our inter-Island routes it’s a little less,” says BC Ferries spokesperson Astrid Braunschmidt.
But it adds up — almost $3.30 extra for two adults and two kid each round trip and ferry users aren’t exactly pumped about it.
“I’m not happy about it,” a senior traveller told us. “It costs a fortune to get on and off the Island. It’s not right.”
“I mean, it sucks but it’s the reality,” a younger man adds. “We live on an Island and you have to get off the Island.”
BC Ferries has been using surcharges and rebates for 15 years now to deal with fluctuating energy costs.
It’s not clear how long this one will last but ferries says it doesn’t profit from it financially.
There are now five ferries running on liquefied natural gas — which is about half the cost of diesel-fueled ferries.
The corporation is also looking at other ways to reduce costs going forward.
“As we transition to this other fuel option, we’re also looking at battery hybrid electric ferries to come on to our fleet early next year,” says Braunschmidt. “All of these will help to manage our fuel costs.”