A BC NDP government would freeze fares on BC Ferries while an audit is carried out to look for savings at the BC Ferries Corporation, Maurine Karagianis, the NDP candidate in Esquimalt-Royal Roads, announced today. The freeze would mean that a planned 4-per-cent ferry fare increase on April 1, 2014, would not go ahead, and that current ferry fares would remain in place until March 31, 2015.

“Our audit will focus on preparing BC Ferries to offer more reliable and affordable services,” said Karagianis, who served as the NDP’s transport critic in the last legislature. “We want to re-establish BC Ferries as an integral part of our transportation system, and consult with British Columbians to establish a long-term vision for BC Ferries,” she said.

In addition to developing a new long-term vision, the audit will look for places where savings can be made and resources reallocated. The fare freeze is estimated to cost $20 million in both 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.

“We have heard many concerns expressed about BC Ferries and their place in the BC transportation system, and we view this audit and fare freeze as a practical way to restore BC Ferries,” Karagianis said.

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