BC Ferries cuts 98 sailings to reduce costs
A BC Ferries vessel is seen in this Oct. 1, 2012 file photo. (CTV)
Published Monday, August 27, 2012 1:47PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, August 27, 2012 1:49PM PDT
BC Ferries is cutting 98 underused trips from their schedules after Thanksgiving weekend and possibly more in the future.
Almost half of those cuts are on the Tsawwassen-Duke Point route on Saturdays, where sailings were running at less than 25 per cent of capacity. As of Oct. 9 they’ll be reducing the schedule to a 10-hour day operating between 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., according to spokeswoman Deborah Marshall.
The remainder of cuts will be to supplemental services offered when needed during busy times on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay and Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay routes.
Marshall said these cuts are part of a cost-reduction strategy. The company will be receiving an $80 million increase in government funding over the next four years, and has been taxed with finding $30 million in savings within the company.
“That’s what this service reduction is all about,” said Marshall.
But there may be more money-saving cuts to come. The province will be moving ahead on public consultations regarding ferry service to the Gulf Islands and Northern services in Port Hardy, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii this fall.
BC Ferries wanted 400 less sailings, but the province has only allowed them to cut 98 out of 9,700 total.
Marshall said aside from looking for other underused services that can be cut, the company has found savings in downsizing executive salaries, which have been heavily criticized. Former CEO David Hahn’s $1.13 million dollar salary was particularly slammed before he resigned in 2011.
“We’ve been doing a cost containment program on our own trying to save money wherever we can,” said Marshall.
Since 2008, the executive team has been cut from 17 to nine people, cutting total salary costs from $5.8 million to $2.7 million.