BC Ferries could offer discounted reservation fees for some sailings

Times Colonist

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BC Ferries will look at variable charges for reservations on major routes, a move that could get people to travel when vessels are not at their busiest.

BC Ferries Swartz Bay
Swartz Bay ferry terminal. Photo by Darren Stone/Times Colonist

A system is being worked on for the fall for the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen, Duke Point-Tsawwassen and Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay routes.

“We’re still finalizing all the details,” said BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall. “Initially we would be offering discounts at off-peak times, if you book in advance.

“What that will do is help free up space at the more popular sailing times.”

Current reservation prices vary, starting with $10 for bookings more than seven days in advance to $17 for bookings less than seven days and up until the day before travel, and $21 for a booking on the day of travel.

“We want to roll this out slowly, so we want to start with the major routes,” Marshall said. “We take reservations on the major routes already, so we will start with that and we will be soliciting customers for their feedback.”

At present, reservations are offered on the major routes, the northern routes and some others.

“But, for example, Gabriola we don’t take reservations, Swartz Bay to the Gulf Islands we don’t take reservations,” Marshall said.