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BC Ferries records highest ever first quarter for vehicle traffic

It appears even more vehicles are travelling on BC Ferries despite the impacts of crew shortages.

The ferry line released its first quarter results Thursday for the three months leading up to June 30.

The report shows vehicle and passenger traffic increased 42 per cent and 74 per cent respectively compared to the same period the year before. They add this quarter marked the highest ever first quarter for vehicle traffic, at 3.8 per cent higher than in pre-COVID fiscal 2020.

Passenger traffic was about 6.3 per cent lower than fiscal 2020, according to BC Ferries.

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Revenues for the three months also increased by $35.7 million compared to the same period last year. They say this is because of higher traffic volumes and net retail sales.

While revenues increased BC Ferries says expenses were $242.1 million, an increase of $31.3 million compared to the same period in 2021.

They say the increase is mainly due to an increased number of sailings, resulting in higher labour costs and fuel consumption and prices, despite staffing shortages.

“The company is experiencing the impact of crew shortages, which regrettably have resulted in cancellations on some routes,” said BC Ferries in a news release. “In the three months ended June 30, 2022, BC Ferries cancelled less than one per cent of scheduled round trips, due to crewing shortages.

“The company apologizes to its customers for these service interruptions and continues to take all reasonable steps to reduce the impact to the travelling public.”

Going forward, they say their focus remains on ensuring the well being and safety of their employees and customers.

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