BC Ferries is advising customers that due to current fuel market conditions, the company will implement a fuel surcharge of 1.5 per cent on June 1. BC Ferries closely monitors the cost of fuel and applies a rebate or surcharge, or neither, under a regulatory process that is independent of fares.
Here is an example of what a 1.5 per cent fuel surcharge will be: 25 cents for an adult and 85 cents for a vehicle on the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes, and 15 cents for an adult and 45 cents for a vehicle on a variety of inter-island routes.
Over the past 15 years, BC Ferries has been using a fuel rebate/surcharge mechanism to manage the volatility in the price of fuel. When fuel prices are lower, BC Ferries passes lower fuel prices on to customers through a fuel rebate. When fuel prices are higher, BC Ferries charges a fuel surcharge specifically designed to cover the additional cost of fuel. There have also been periods with neither. The company does not benefit financially from surcharges or rebates.
“We now have five vessels operating on liquefied natural gas, a cleaner and less expensive fuel source than the ultra-low sulphur diesel we use for our other vessels. LNG is approximately 50 per cent less expensive than diesel, and its use result in fuel savings that are passed on to our customers,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “Despite fuel switching and other initiatives to burn fuel more efficiently, a fuel surcharge is now necessary. Fuel is our second largest expense. We know that the affordability of travel is important to our customers, and we will continue to take measures to reduce our fuel consumption further through the introduction of diesel electric battery hybrid vessels.”
The fuel surcharge will be 1.5 per cent on average on all routes with the exception of the Port Hardy – Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii and Port Hardy – Central Coast routes. These routes have a separate mechanism pertaining to the cost of fuel and there will not be a fuel surcharge added at this time.
Caring for the environment, coupled with travel affordability are top priorities for BC Ferries. Good fuel cost management has helped hold the cost of travel flat or reduced it every year for the past four years.