Bowen Ferry run loses $3.4 million

Russ Francis

(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, August 20th 1993, p1: with permission)

B.C. Ferries lost $3.4 million on the Bowen Island run in the year ending last March 31 -- despite carrying an average of 190 more passengers each day than in the previous year.

Company communications manager Ed McKenzie said a total of 939,000 passengers and 386,000 vehicles were carried between Horseshoe Bay and Snug Cove. These amount to increases of eight and six percent over the 1991-92 figures.

Though the company took in more than $3 million in fares and food sales on the run, this was more than offset by expenses of $6.5 million. However, included in expenses is depreciation on the 315-foot Queen of Capilano, commissioned in June 1992.

The loss on the three nautical mile run was triple the $1.1 million loss for the previous year. McKenzie said.

According to B.C. Ferries annual report, issued this month, the company as a whole lost $15.8 million -- even after a $43 million grant from the B.C. Government.

As a result, the corporation's deficit grew to $116 million.

However, the loss is after the deduction of depreciation and amortization of $17.1 million.

The ferries carried a total of 20.5 million passengers and eight million vehicles during the year. The company employs about 3,100 full-time employees.

On all runs, the ferries took in $216 million in fares and $49 million from other income, including selling food.

These are both increases from the 1991-92 fiscal year.

According to the report, the only run in the Sunshine Coast area to make money was the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale one, where revenue exceeded costs by two per cent.

The three Mainland-Vancouver Island routes also made a profit last yera of around $22 million, but this was offset by losses in other service areas.

Taken as a group, the six Sunshine Coast runs--including Bowen--lost $16 million after depreciation deductions.

McKenzie declined to comment on what action, if any, the company might take to reduce the losses, and referred comment to coporation president Frank Rhodes. Rhodes did not return calls.

Page last updated 99-03-12