The following news release has been published today by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure:
The Coastal Ferries Consultation and Engagement summary report was released today, summarizing the input received during an eight‐week public consultation process conducted in fall 2012.
The consultation and engagement provided information to British Columbians on the challenges facing the coastal ferry system. The process sought public input on the principles to guide service adjustment decisions and strategies to further the Province’s long‐term vision for the ferry system.
Over the eight weeks, senior ministry staff hosted 40 public consultation meetings in 30 communities, along with one webinar. More than 2,000 people attended the public meetings and almost 2,000 feedback forms and written submissions were received. The strong public response clearly reflects how much people value the coastal ferry service. Given the volume and detail of comments received during the consultation, government will take the time necessary to thoroughly review the feedback and develop a plan for service adjustments to achieve $26 million in savings to 2016.
The government initiated the consultation and engagement following the review of the Coastal Ferry Act by the independent BC ferry commissioner. The commissioner raised the need for a long‐term vision and indicated that all parties – BC Ferries, ferry users and the Province ‐ need to contribute to ensure the sustainability of the system.
In response to the commissioner’s review, the government committed an additional $79.5 million to 2016 to reduce pressure on fares, bringing B.C. taxpayer funding to more than $180 million this year.
There will be further consultations before any specific service reductions are implemented.
The summary report on the consultation can be downloaded here
The Ferry Advisory Committee welcomes your feedback on the report. Give us your reactions by leaving a comment on our Public Consultation page or by email to Gabriola.firstname.lastname@example.org . The FAC will consider the report, and any comments received, at its next meeting on April 3. Members of the public are welcome to attend.