There is an online petition circulating calling on BC Ferries to offer 50 per cent off ticket prices for island residents, and it is gaining traction with nearly 13,000 signatures.
The petition posted on change.org by a group called “Islanders Unite”, claims “Island residents are held prisoner on their own island, that families have a hard time leaving for holidays or visiting family.”
BC Ferries told Victoria Buzz 85 per cent of its customers are from inside the province so it would be difficult to justify giving one segment a discount and not another.
The company also says tourism contributes greatly to the economy of Vancouver Island and offering island resident discounts would mean charging tourists more.
“Tourism contributes greatly to the economy of Vancouver Island. If we offered island resident discounts, we would have to charge tourists more, which would penalize the tourism industry,” executive director of public affairs Deborah Marshall said.
Marshall added that the ferry company does offer customers other incentives, such as the 30 per cent off vehicle fares, 50 per cent off vehicle fares, and another 30 per cent off passenger fares over the past year.
“We are working on a frequent user program for our major routes as part of our fare flexibility digital enhancement program. This is a major IT project and is several years out.”
If you would like to sign the petition, click here – or if you have another solution, let us know in the comment section below.