But sadly, only the tide will come down. As if life wasn’t expensive enough in BC, the only ferry operator – holding an absolute monopoly on boat travel around the province – has decided that Sergio Leones’ "For a Few Dollars More" title would make a great marketing plan and they will squeeze those dollars out of travelers’ pockets.
As of November 10th at noon (just on time to cash in on the long week-end increased traffic), BC Ferries will see their fares sail upwind by up to $4 per car, adding up to a price increase of over 25% this year alone. Now the company might simply be tacking to cover its operating costs but as far as the public is concerned, it’s a hit below the waterline that will further sink many people’s already declining enthusiasm for boat travel.
Of course some will also be quick to point out the recent attempt of the late Queen of the North at turning herself into a submarine (which resulted in the disappearance of 2 passengers) and the older incident where a wild ferry got loose and attacked a few defenseless smaller boats while docking (which resulted in material damage mostly, and probably a big dent into both BC Ferries’ budget and the Captain’s ego).
I don’t personally consider these isolated incident to be really significant compared to the number of uneventful sailings the fleet accomplishes every year. The fact remains, however, that prices are going up very fast and very steeply without an obvious improvement to the service. But BC Ferries is buying new ships that will be nothing tacky and make no mistake about it, we will have to pay for them.
Soultrance and Miss604 have also both blogged extensively about the issue; I assume a lot more people will be upset by the move. Too bad, I really like ferry crossings. But what in our world ever gets cheaper? Apart from digital cameras, that is. ;-)