Data from BC Ferries’ first quarter financial report shows a significant improvement in passenger traffic, the transportation service says.
Overall, for the quarter ending June 30, 3021, vehicle traffic increased by 37 per cent and passenger traffic increased by 40 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.
However, BC Ferries says that the company has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Compared to the same fiscal period for 2020, vehicle traffic and passenger traffic are 27 per cent and 46 per cent lower respectively.
Despite these challenges, the service was able to post net earnings for the quarter, with revenues increasing by $91.8 million compared to the prior year. BC Ferries says most of this revenue was thanks to Safe Restart funding.
In December 2020, they received $308 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments.
In the three months ending June 30, 2021, net earnings were $4.7 million. Last year, the company posted a net loss for the same period of $62.0 million.
“Traffic was stronger in this quarter than the same period last year but still well below
expectations given the impacts of the third wave of COVID-19,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO.
Looking to 2022, the company has long-term plans in motion to electrify some ferry terminals with an eye to using hybrid-electric vessels solely on battery power. They are seeking federal funds to construct the necessary infrastructure for this project.