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General News · 19th December 2013
Tom Bohart
My first reaction to this e-mail was that they didn’t answer my last question. Then I got caught up in the numbers: 7.5 million would be half the full rate, not the ‘experience’ rate. 6 million is 20% less. Why 20%? But then I reread it one more time, and it says that the government wants to change their contract, and will give BC ferries 15 million dollars if BC ferries starts charging seniors half fare.


Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 9:00 AM
To: Coastal Ferries Engagement TRAN:EX
Subject: senior's discount

Hello:

In a previous e-mail reply, I was told the senior's discount will be of
the fare after the 'experience' discount. The full passenger fare
Campbell River to Cortes is currently $20.55, the discounted rate is
$12.85, so seniors would pay $6.43, then. I understand the government
reimburses BC Ferrries the full rate, now, but this does not appear on
my receipt. So they would charge the senior $6.43 after the change.
Would this amount go directly to BC Ferries? How much would the
government reimburse BC Ferries then?

The proposal expects that ten percent of seniors will not be able to
afford the increase. The vehicle rate has no senior's deduction. Most
seniors I know take their vehicle, as we can't get across Quadra Island
without it. Each time I stay home there will be a loss to BC Ferries
revenue of $32.35. How much do you anticipate the total loss of revenue
to be from this in the entire system, and is there a mechanism to
reimburse BC Ferries for this loss, or are they expected to find savings
or increased revenue from some other sourse?

The last e-mail took eight days for a reply to what I thought was a
simple question. We have little time left to comment on this process, so
I hope you can reply soon.

Thank you,

Tom Bohart

Squirrel Cove, BC.


Received Dec 16, 2013:

Dear Mr. Bohart,

The service contract between the Province and BC Ferries outlines various components of funding. For example, the largest annual provincial contribution of approximately $150 million is for the Ferry Transportation Fee which helps cover the cost of delivering the ferry service and has a direct impact on the price caps, or level of fare increase, established by the BC Ferry Commission. The contract also stipulates government funding will be provided for the seniors discount program (approximately $15 million annually). The change that government has announced will mean that instead of the government sponsoring a seniors discount program, it will re-direct the funding that would have been used for seniors discounts to the Ferry Transportation Fee. In exchange, BC Ferries will offer seniors a 50% discount. The seniors discount will now become part of BC Ferries fare structure and the government funding that was previously used for seniors discounts will be re-directed to help ease pressure on fare increases for all ferry users.

As the amount of government funding to BC Ferries will not change and seniors will now be paying 50% of the passenger fare, we expect a net revenue gain for BC Ferries. As we also recognize that some seniors may travel less frequently, the estimated additional annual revenue to BC Ferries has been decreased from $7.5 million to $6 million. BC Ferries will continue to track the number of seniors travelling in order to monitor changes to seniors travel.

Thank you again for writing.

Sincerely,

BC Coastal Ferries Community Engagement