Mitchell resumes call for ferry fare cut


(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, June 19th 1992, p1: with permission)

The 95-metre Queen of Capilano begins ferry service to Bowen Island Saturday. She is the first ship in the BC Ferries fleet with such features as diesel electric engines and state-of-the-art computerized systems. The ferry will be on display Saturday at an open house from 7 to 8 p.m.

West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA David Mitchell has asked the government to reduce some fares for the Bowen Island ferry.

During debate in the Legislature on budget estimates for the B.C. Ferry Corporation, Mitchell asked for a review of the overheight, bicycle and walk-on fares, which are the most expensive among the minor routes.

Fares for overheight vehicles have jumped as much as 64 per cent. Mitchell asked Glen Clark, the Minister responsible for the B.C. Ferry Corporation, why there has been such a dramatic increase in overheight charges. "These vehicles are often run by small businesses, many Bowen-based, that are servicing the island," Mitchell explained. "It's a tremendous hardship for operators of these vehicles."

Mitchell has been calling for a review of bicycle and foot passenger fares since the election and again asked whether the government would consider reducing or eliminating those fares completely.

Clark responded by saying that a tariff review is underway, and that he would take Mitchell's suggestion for free bicycle service under advisement. "There is some appeal to that," Clark noted.

Meanwhile, B.C. Ferry Corporation President Frank Rhodes has informed Mitchell that the Queen of Capilano will begin servive on the Bowen route on June 19. Rhodes said fares on the route will not change with the deployment of the new vessel.

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