Do you pay your ferry fare with an Experience Card? Most people do – in fact almost 84% of vehicle fares to and from Gabriola are paid with an Experience Card, as are almost 64% of passenger fares. (The difference is accounted for by the number of passengers who don’t pay fares – students, seniors and people travelling for medical treatment)
Remember the April 1 fares increase? The government set a 4.1% average fare cap. Vehicle fares to Gabriola increased by 4%. Passengers paying with an experience card paid 4.3% more.
Now, we are told that a fuel surcharge of 3.5% will be added from January 17. Wrong. If you pay with an Experience Card you’ll actually pay 5.4% more on a vehicle fare and 5.8% more on passenger fares. Add that to the increase last April and that’s over 10% more than you were paying this time last year.
Update : A response from BC Ferries to one FAC enquiry now suggests that the 3.5% surcharge will be applied to whatever fare is paid, so that Experience Card holders will only pay 3.5% more, not as indicated above. Other reports suggest otherwise. Full information will be published as soon as it is available.
Further update : BC Ferries has confirmed that, contrary to an earlier statement, the 3.5% surcharge rate will be applied to both the full fare and to Experience Card Fares. Subject to rounding, the surcharge on E-Card fares will therefore be 3.5%, not as suggested above.
It’s time for a class-action suit, and not only from Gabriola but from all the coastal communities. of course, I’m not a lawyer: anyone here qualified to say whether this is a possibility?
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Okay, but what does this mean? We should stop paying by the experience card?
Experience Cards will continue to provide a discounted rate for advance purchase. The fact that the 35p per passenger (85p per vehicle) fuel surcharge is a fixed amount means that Experience Card holders face the higher percentage increase in fare; 5.4% for vehicles and 5.8% for passengers.
I’m with Alex. They don’t understand anything but force.
Watch this space : we’re awaiting confirmation from BC Ferries that the 3.5% surcharge will apply to whatever fare is paid, not as suggested above.