This time last year, BC Ferries was reporting a 5% reduction (April-Jan) in vehicle and passenger traffic on Route 19 to Gabriola. Now we have January 2013 traffic data, it seems like the pattern of decline over the past five years may be about to turn.
January 2013 saw vehicle traffic up 6% compared to January 2012 and passenger traffic up by 3%. That’s virtually back to January 2011 levels. Over the current fiscal year (April-Jan) vehicle and passenger numbers have stabilised at last year’s levels – good news for ferry users, but will it be good enough to prevent the new government from cutting services later this year?
The dust has long since settled on the Provincial consultation on ferry services – and the consultants expect to release their report on the messages from ferry users later this month. But with an election looming, it’s unlikely we’ll get any signals from the present government. Ferry services are likely to be a hot election issue among Gulf Islanders and although the news from BC Ferries may be brighter, there’s still a long way to go.
Turn to our Recent Performance page for the latest traffic reports on Route 19.