BC Ferries has been hit hard by falling tourism and rising fuel costs because of the bad economy.

BC Ferries has been hit hard by falling tourism and rising fuel costs because of the bad economy.

BC Ferry fares going up slightly at the end of the month.

Travellers who use the BC Ferry system to and from Prince Rupert will have to pay a little bit more starting April 1.

Those looking to travel by ferry to and from Prince Rupert will have to pay a bit more after this month.

As of April 1, BC Ferries is raising the price of fairs by an average of 4.15 per cent for all of it’s routes. The price increases were approved by the provincial government last spring when the Coastal Ferries Act was amended by Bill 14. BC Ferries says that the modest price increases are necessary to help pay for the quasi-private company’s rising operating costs.

Currently, a one-way ticket for someone traveling without a vehicle from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert during the shoulder season (spring and fall) costs $130 per passenger, but will be increasing to $135 at the beginning of next month. Travellers with vehicles traveling along the same route will have to pay $312 up from the current $300 fare.

For those travelling to and from the Haida Gwaii outside the peak season without a vehicle, the trip between Prince Rupert and Skidegate will cost $35 which is only a $1 increase from the current price. Those taking their car across will have to pay $126, up from $121.

On the commercial side of things, busses will have to pay $25 per foot of space they take up on the ship, another $1 increase from the current rate. For other commercial vehicles such as trucks the cost will $36.50 per foot, up from $35.

While the price increases are certainly modest, they do represent another step in the persistent increases in ferry fares as BC Ferries struggles to contain its costs while providing the services it it obligated to provide. Local governments both on the North Coast and especially on the Haida Gwaii have argued that the ferry service should fall under the jurisdiction of the highways act, and be paid for and maintained like any other part of BC’s highway system.