BC Ferries Canada receives $500M cash injection to keep ferry fares low

   February 27, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

BC Ferries will receive a CAD 500 million cash injection to be used to keep fares below the rate of inflation and partly electrify their fleet.

This will be on top of the annual operating subsidy of the corporation called the ferry transportation fee, of ~$200M annually that comes from the provincial government.

David Eby (British Columbia's Premier) revealed on Sunday afternoon, February 26th, that the additional half billion dollars would come from the most recent budgetary surplus of the government. Eby added that if he hadn't stepped in to increase funding, then fares could have gone up 10% each year for the next 4 years. He said that would have led to hardship for ferry users/increased prices for food for people living on Vancouver Island.

BC Ferries was a Crown corporation but is currently considered to be a quasi-government, with its only shareholder being the BC Ferry Authority. The company is a contracted service provider, with revenues coming from fares/government subsidies. The organization operates 35 vessels from 47 terminals.

B.C. Ferries’ financial year ends on March 31st, 2023. In the last financial year, it had total revenue of $965.4M, including $102M in special federal/provincial funding to help cover COVID-related downturns in passenger volumes as well as to keep fares down.

In total, the company received $308M in government COVID funding.