Despite reduced schedule, Inside Passage ridership up

Ridership on the Inside Passage is up through the first 11 months of 2014 compared to 2013.

Despite a reduced schedule and drastic declines in year-over-year numbers, ridership on the Inside Passage is up through the first 11 months of 2014 compared to 2013 according to figures released by BC Ferries on Dec. 18.

So far this year, 33,262 passengers have made their way between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy compared to 29,018 last year, an increase of 14.63 per cent, while the number of vehicles rose 12.43 per cent from 9,034 last year to 10,157 this year.

Those numbers are in sharp contrast to the year-over-year numbers which saw the passenger count drop 17.9 per cent this November compared to last and vehicle traffic drop 11.39 per cent this November compared to last.

It’s a similar story on the Prince Rupert to Skidegate route, which saw number climb overall despite drops in November.

During the first 11 months of 2014 a total of 28,413 people made the trip between Prince Rupert and Skidegate compared to 30,414 the year before, resulting in a drop of 6.58 per cent. Vehicle traffic on Route 11 also dropped from 11,371 last year to 9,034 so far this year, a decline of 4.12 per cent.

This November saw 2,069 passengers make their way between Prince Rupert and Skidegate, with 1,104 boarding in Prince Rupert and 965 departing from Skidegate. That is a 3.19 per cent increase compared to last November. Vehicle traffic last month was also up last month compared to November 2013 with 963 vehicles sailing compared to 835 last year, an increase of 15.33 per cent.