Local ferry run a big loser

by Russ Francis

(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, September 1st 1995, p1: with permission)

Despite a fare increase and more passengers, the Bowen ferry run lost even more last year than the year before.

According to B.C. Ferries latest annual report, the Bowen route lost $5.3 million in the financial year, ending March 31, 1995.

This compares with a loss of $5 million in the previous year.

The passenger count was up by 51,000 to 1,063,000 and the number of vehicles carried increased by 10,000 to 437,000.

Though revenue from fares and food on the run grew by more than $400,000, operating expenses jumped by almost $800,000.

B.C. Ferries lost a total of $65 million last year, up $7 million from the previous year.

This is partly offset by a $34 million government grant to the Crown corporation.

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers' Union president Ken Michael said Thursday that passengers can expect much higher fares in the coming years in order to deal with the deficit.

However, there will also be more services such as the cappuccino machines on some ferries: "They're pretty popular and they're pretty profitable.

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