Letter to the Editor: Inside Passage too costly

I got a bargain ticket for $650 one way with BC Ferries, no stateroom.

Editor:

In June of this year I travelled to Vancouver Island for a family memorial. I drove down and, as I had a large load on my return trip, I decided to book a ticket with BC Ferries. I got a bargain ticket for $650 one way, no stateroom.

The ferry was approximately at two-thirds capacity and yet it was not until noon at the cafeteria that I spotted a local. Having finished my lunch I figured that I would grab a coffee refill and join him and his wife. I was informed that BC Ferries does not have refills so I was charged $2.30 and told to wash the cup, so to speak.

I have travelled this route many times and I never tire of the scenery. At 10 p.m. we all witnessed an incredible sunset. If you however want to enjoy this view from the front of the ship you will pay $30 for a seat you can’t even sleep in. On the alternate floor with a forward view you must pay $30 or so for the fancy dining room.

As it is now, this has become BC Ferries’ private little cruise route. The locals don’t ride it because they cannot afford to. It is also not designed for the average tourist but the wealthy tourist. If you are towing an RV of any type it is far more than the average Canadian can afford.

This beautiful marine highway is now closed to the general public who simply can’t afford it. If people would travel to this area there will always be a certain sector who will be in search of innovation, investment, and possibly making this area their new home. If people do not travel here this will never happen.

I have a question for Christy Clark: what will she do when she retires from politics and opens her little restaurant and the customers are not arriving? I would assume using BC Ferries as a format you would cut service and up your prices. If LNG is any indication she will end up giving the food away for next to nothing just to keep the doors open.

My suggestion is to offer British Columbians a rate just under $400 for vehicle and driver. With increased ridership the revenues would be substantial and the benefits would flow through the region. Tourists fares could also be lowered.

We are blessed with one of the most beautiful marine highways in the world and many are deprived to use it. Yes, the ferries are costly to operate but keep in mind 100,000 people cross Vancouver’s bridges daily for free and some day the bridges will all need to be replaced.

Phil Craig, Prince Rupert