BC Ferries offering 50% discount off regular fares this fall

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, August 25 2015

This past week, BC Ferries management announced it would be offering 50% off regular passenger fares on off-peak sailings on both the major and minor routes.

This will include select sailings to Gabriola from Nanaimo Harbour. The discount is only applicable to regular passenger fares. Vehicle fares are not included.

Between September 8 and October 15, 2015 (except Thanksgiving Monday, October 12), the regular adult fare reduces from $11.25 to $5.65. Children aged 5-11 years will pay $2.85 instead of $5.65, as will BC Seniors Monday to Thursday. Experience Card users’ fares will also pay the promotion’s rates. The current adult fare with an experience card is $6.55, meaning those regular experience card users will pay $5.65, a 14% or 90 cents discount rather than the 50% discount applied to the non-experience card adult fares.

Sailings included in the promotion are all the sailings on Monday to Thursday departing Nanaimo between 10:45am and 3:45pm, as well as all sailings on Saturdays departing Nanaimo between 1:10pm and 11pm.

Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO explained the first quarter for BC Ferries  saw an increase in passenger traffic of 5% and vehicle traffic by 4.7% over the past fiscal year. Net earnings for the BCF corporation was up to $18.8 million in the first quarter compared to $13.9 million in the first quarter of the previous year.

“While we are uncertain how long this current growth in traffic will last, this promotion allows us an opportunity this fall to test variable pricing concepts in order to understand their impact on traffic trends, customer responses, and operations,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “This will help us gather information as we prepare pricing strategies for our Fare Flexibility and Digital Experience Initiative in 2017, which will make variable pricing a permanent part of our service delivery model.”

Corrigan said the company is looking into possible future vehicle discount promotions later this year. At this time the offer is for regular passenger fares only.