Vehicle and passenger traffic on Route 19 plummeted during February to the lowest level for many years. The number of vehicles recorded was down 17% compared to February 2013, while passenger numbers were down by more than 13%.
Similar trends were recorded across the BC Ferries network, with vehicle traffic on the major routes down by between 4% and 7%. Traffic reductions varying between 3% and 15% were recorded on other minor routes.
The reasons are complex; undoubtedly high fares (and the 3.5% fuel surcharge implemented in January) have taken their toll – but bad weather, the new BC Family Day holiday and heightened awareness of impending ferry cuts have likely had an impact too. We’ve all noticed how much space there’s been at times when ferries would typically be full – and March shows little sign of being much better.
It’s unusual to see such a major slump in traffic in a single month – and for that slump to be recorded across the whole ferry system. The next two months will reveal whether this was a one-off or part of a longer-term trend. If it is, then April’s ferry cuts could be just the start.
Vehicle and passenger traffic is updated each month on our Recent Performance page