BC Ferries’ CEO answers criticism

Dear editor,

Re: Government’s service cuts and cable ferry project.

Dear editor,

Re: Government’s service cuts and cable ferry project.

I am compelled to respond to a recent letter in your newspaper authored by Robert French.

Two areas I would like to focus on are — the government’s recently announced service cuts and our cable ferry project.

Mr. French erroneously makes the claim that our operations department is responsible for the decision to reduce service on his ferry route.

The decisions regarding the level of service, such as the number of round trips per day that BC Ferries provides on each of our 25 routes is, and has always been, a government policy decision.

BC Ferries is the service provider (operator) and has a 60-year contract with the Province to provide safe, efficient and reliable ferry service based on the government’s desired service level. Our regulator, the BC Ferries commissioner, ensures that on an ongoing basis we meet these terms.

What is true is that we are responsible for implementing the government’s cuts by April 1, 2014.

We are keenly aware of the current dialogue across ferry-dependant communities we serve regarding the impact of these cuts and are doing our best to work with each community to implement these service reductions as respectfully as possible.

Regarding the proposed cable ferry, it is not just our engineering department, but the executive as a whole and our board of directors who support this project.

We firmly believe that we can provide an equivalent level of service with the cable ferry, to what is currently being provided by the Quinitsa, for approximately $2 million less per year in operating costs.

These savings will help reduce the upward pressure on fares across all routes including the Denman and Hornby runs.

Going back to my earlier point, BC Ferries’ responsibility is to run the operation as efficiently as possible, without compromising safety or reliability.

Mike Corrigan

Editor’s note: Mike Corrigan is president and chief executive officer for BC Ferries.

 

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