BC Ferries garnered $315.8 million in revenue according to a new report from the passenger ferry operator, translating to net earnings of $90 million.
According to second quarter results in a press release, net earnings are down compared to the same period last year, a three-month term ending on Sept. 30.
The company said the decrease is the result of lowering fares and adding more sailings to meet customer demand.
“BC Ferries provided 288 (640 year-to-date) additional round trips compared to the same time last year throughout the system and adjusted the schedules for the routes operating out of Horseshoe Bay terminal,” said Mark Collins, president and CEO of BC Ferries.
In April, a fare reduction of 15 per cent was put into effect on all but three Metro Vancouver to Vancouver Island routes. As well, the seniors’ passengers discount was increased from 50 to 100 per cent for weekday travel, excluding Fridays.
The initiative is part of a two-year plan funded by the province and BC Ferries.
Additional sailings and the schedule adjustments required for them increased operating expenses by $13.9 million in the quarter. A new direct route between Port Hardy and Bella Coola also resulted in additional costs for labour, fuel and training.
BC Ferries plans to invest more than $3.9 million as part of its 12-Year Capital Plan, upgrading its fleet, utilizing alternative energy sources and overhauling terminals like the one at Swartz Bay.
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“We are planning for a more resilient ferry service that takes into account the energy transition to a lower carbon future and that can address customers’ interests in the areas of reliability, affordability and choice,” Collins said. “In developing our plan, we recognize that decisions we make today must consider the way people will travel tomorrow.”