BC Ferries loses another $5.5 million; targets cyclists to recoup loses

A search for bicycle facilities at BC Ferries produced this.

A press release issued by BC Ferries on August 24, 2011 states that it lost another $5.5 million during April, May and June of this year.

It also confirms the devastating decisions they have recently made without public consultation: spending half a billion dollars on 3 giant new car ferries made in Germany while vehicle traffic reached an eleven year low.

In an effort to recoup these losses, BC Ferries recently sent 3 security people and a trained German Shepard after a cyclist to ban him for not paying $2 for his bicycle.  The only other ways to cross the Salish Sea are airplane or private boat.

After the cyclist explained that BC Ferries own Experience Card allows cyclists to travel without paying the $2 bicycle fare, the Terminal Manager lifted the ban.

However, the security personnel stressed that any cyclist who does not pay the $2 for their bicycle, even if BC Ferries staff sells them a ticket, are considered criminals and will be banned immediately.

BC Ferries press release did not comment on whether bicycle traffic increased or decreased in the last quarter, nor did it comment how customer service practices affected revenues.

David L. Hahn: "Sorry, my hands are tied."

President and CEO David L. Hahn did state that cutbacks will result from this loss, but the salaries and bonuses received by BC Ferries Executives will not be reduced.  The press release did not mention that David Hahn’s annual compensation, when added with the other members of the Executive’s, exceed the loss in the past quarter.

The press release stated that steep discounts for motorized vehicles and their drivers during peak travel periods in June did not increase revenues.

However, no mention was made of how a passenger only service would dramatically reduce costs (it currently costs $2,000 in fuel for one of the Giant new ferries to make a crossing of the Salish Sea) while simultaneously increasing service.

The press release also contains financial information that shows that BC Ferries has accumulated a $1.3 billion debt in the past 8 years; a previous press release stated that prior to the hiring of David Hahn as President and CEO, BC Ferries was debt free after the Provincial Government wrote off $1.1 billion in debt that was accumulated over more than 40 years.

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