Thursday, May 10, 2007

BC Ferries needs a Green Plan

Everybody is going green these days, except BC Ferries. What's wrong with them? Don't they see the opportunities here?

I'll help them with a few money-making examples for a greener BC Ferries :

1. Lower the walk-on fee. Lower? Yes, lower. Cars don't eat food, they don't buy magazines, and don't play in the Arcade hall. People do. Focus on transporting people, not metal. People are still considered green (when in fact most of them aren't), but cars are not. When people have to spend less on a ticket, they're also more likely to spend a few more bucks during the ride.

2. Lobby for improvement of BC Transit. I find it still hard to believe that in the year 2007 there still isn't a BC Transit Express service from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver. What's taking so long? Many people bemoan the high rates for taking your car onto these ferries, still the only comfortable way to get to Vancouver (from Victoria). A return ticket for one car and two passengers is close to $120 dollars. Lobby to come up with a walk-on return pass under $40 per person. This would make walk-on travel convenient and affordable, resulting in more travellers. Lobbying doesn't cost money, only effort. Go!
When the above is implemented, these changes can lead to the next move:
3. Introduce smaller, walk-on-passenger-only ferries. These ferries should be able to operate for a lot less money, and could improve the service. Since they can be a lot smaller, they probably can go a bit faster too.
BC Ferries, Go Green!


Paul Hillsdon said...

Great ideas! I also agree there should be an express ferry service between Van and Vic.

Transit Rage said...

I've only been to Vancouver and Victoria once, as a teenager, so I don't know anything about the ferries. But holy cow, it costs THAT MUCH?? That's unbelievable.

In Ontario, ferries are likely much, much smaller, but the ferries I know about in the Kingston area (Glenora Ferry between Prince Edward County and Adolphustown, for instance) are free. They're considered part of the highways, and since the highways are free, so are the ferries. It would be political suicide, at least locally, to try and charge for them.

Erik Abbink said...

They're considered part of the highways, and since the highways are free, so are the ferries.

They are considered part of the highway system in BC too, yet not free.

A couple of decades ago people were fine with paying a small amount; somewhat understandable given the distances (a lot further than in the Kingston area) our ferries have to cover. These days less locals travel the ferry system due to the high fees.

What provincial party (BC NDP?) will make this an election issue? And what impact would this have?

We'll have to wait and see.

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