If you thought the ferries were busier than usual, you’re not imagining it.
BC Ferries saw the highest vehicle traffic they’ve ever seen for April, May and June this year, and passenger traffic was the highest it’s been in 20 years for the same time period. Although they broke records for passengers, net earnings dropped by more than $10 million: $17.3 million this year, as opposed to $27 million last year.
As for why net earnings are down, Mark Collins, president and CEO of BC Ferries, said it’s because they invested in improving services, including additional sailings, new vessels and fare discounts.
“Our net earnings have decreased compared to first quarter last year as BC Ferries invests in this improved customer experience,” he said in a press release. “We have held ticket prices stable, absorbed increased operating costs due to higher traffic and delivered additional capacity to customers.”
According to Collins, BC Ferries invested $91 million in new vessels, vessel upgrades and terminal improvements this quarter. Revenues increased to $225.9 million, over three per cent higher than last year, and operating expenses rose by almost nine per cent to $194.4 million.