The B.C. government announced Thursday it plans to restore the majority of ferry routes cut in 2014.
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, some services will be restored on April 1 with the rest coming later in the year.
“Adding these additional sailings will be a huge help to people living in coastal communities who rely on ferries for day-to-day travel,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said. “Along with reducing and freezing fares – now in its second year- our government is committed to ensuring ferry service meets the needs of island families up and down the coast.”
The ministry worked with BC Ferries to respond to the BC Ferry Advisory Committee chairs’ request to restore some services cut in 2014. The agreement will see more than 2,700 additional round trips added to schedules on 10 minor and northern routes.
All the routes that are being restored are:
Route # 6 – Crofton – Vesuvius
Route # 7 – Earls Cove – Saltery Bay
Route # 8 – Horseshoe Bay – Bowen Island
Route # 10 – Port Hardy – Mid Coast – Prince Rupert
Route # 11 – Haida Gwaii – Prince Rupert
Route # 18 – Powell River – Texada Island
Route # 19 – Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island
Route 23 Campbell River – Quadra Island
Route # 24 Quadra Island – Cortes Island
Route # 26 Skidegate – Alliford Bay
Two northern routes – Route 10, Port Hardy to Prince Rupert and Route 26, Skidegate to Alliford Bay – will take longer to implement due to the operational changes involved, such as the hiring of new crews. Route 6, Crofton to Vesuvius will see full implementation of the new schedule on May 1.
Ferry fares are still frozen by 2019. In 2018, BC Ferries received additional government funding to reduce fares on smaller and northern routes by 15 per cent, froze fares on the major routes and brought back the Monday to Thursday 100 per cent discount for seniors’ passenger fares.