FILE PHOTO. Photo by Life Force Ocean Friends.

B.C. government to launch coastal ferry review in January

The Province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service in British Columbia in 2018

The NDP government has announced it is taking on a review of our B.C. ferry system.

In January 2018, the province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service to evaluate its performance “in meeting the needs of ferry users and British Columbia’s coastal communities”.

The government is quick to point out the review will not consider bringing BC Ferries back under the government fold.

The review is expected to cost approximately $250,000, inclusive of all fees for technical expertise, research and analysis.

The government states this review will identify what improvements can be made to the existing model and the Coastal Ferry Services Contract to better serve the needs of ferry users and coastal communities.

Related: BC Ferries reports record-breaking traffic for first quarter

Under the terms of reference, the review will:

  • Examine whether the contracted ferry services are being provided for in a manner that supports the public interest.
  • Consider what changes to the price cap and regulatory model would ensure the ferry system is working as efficiently and effectively as possible for all British Columbians, and, in particular, for the ferry users and communities who depend on this essential service.
  • Identify opportunities and recommend actions to enhance ferry service delivery and/or reduce costs without impacting existing service.

The Province has appointed Blair Redlin, former deputy minister of transportation and former CEO of the BC Transportation Financing Authority, as a special adviser to oversee the review.

Redlin will report to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, with a final report to be delivered to government by June 2018.

The terms of reference for the Coastal Ferry Service review are available online here.

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