Bloated management of BC Ferries is addicted to empire-building like BC Hydro.
Except for its Denman Island cable ferry, the company has chosen not to build boats for specific needs of its minor runs. The result is oversized and overstaffed boats running substantially below capacity. That causes the ferry corporation to reduce trip frequency, which serves residents badly almost every day of the year.
A ferry under construction in Romania will serve the short route between Powell River and Texada Island, replacing the 60-year-old North Island Princess. The $43 million vessel is designed to carry about 50 cars and 300 passengers.
That capital investment amounts to more than $40,000 for each of approximately 1,100 residents of Texada Island, an area where census records show the same population in 2016 as in 2001. In fact, the resident count is unchanged from the sixties when M.V. Atrevida, a 5-car 40-passenger ferry, shuttled back and forth on the same route.
According to BC Ferries’ traffic records, the Texada route averaged about 25 travelers per trip in fiscal year 2018. That means the new ferry will carry an average that is fewer than 10% of passenger capacity.
A boat that can transport 15 cars and 60 passengers in these sheltered waters would be appropriate for the Texada Island route. Its capital cost would be much less, even if built in North America, and operating costs would substantially lower.
Categories: BC Ferries