BC Ferries, Transit need a reality check

No point running the same schedules with hardly any passengers

With the worldwide Coronavirus taking place, common sense has been thrown out the door. Why? Our local transit service has the number of passengers dwindling down to low records of volume of passenger travel, yet we see the number of trips still the same as in normal circumstances.

It is absurd to see this at a time when passenger fares have been eliminated, and bus drivers are still getting paid, on top of burning fuel for buses that at times are empty. For example, the regular number of trips for Route 2, Prevost, is 14 trips per day Monday to Friday from Village Green Mall to Cowichan Commons. As of today, the same number of trips are still in existence.

Route 7, Duncan to Lake Cowichan, has 14 trips per day Monday to Friday, regularly, and that same number still exists as of today.

BC Ferries also has not reduced any sailing times. On the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay, ferry route, there are seven sailings per day from Monday to Friday. As of today, there is still seven sailings per day, with the number of passengers and vehicles dwindling down. BC Ferries is still paying wages and burning fuel for sailings that at the time of some sailings have total passenger and vehicle numbers so low that the sailing is a waste of time.

BC Ferries is increasing ferry fares on April 1, which will add more to the already low number of passengers and vehicles, and also giving BC Ferries employees a two per cent wage increase. From a taxpayer point of view, both the transit service and B.C. Ferries have to remove a number of bus trips and ferry sailings, adding savings on wages and fuel expenses.

Remember the next time you buy a ticket to board a ferry, the ticket agent’s rate of pay per hour effective April 1, 2020 is $28.14 per hour plus 100 per cent employer paid benefits, or taxpayer funded employee benefits. A labourer in the forest logging industry, in the United Steelworkers union agreement is paid $29.85 per hour. BC Ferries workers wages, completely out of line in reality.

This is taxpayer money being spent foolishly. The overpaid decision-making management in both B.C. Transit and BC Ferries would do the same in trying to save money, when it comes to their own personal bank accounts. Mark Collins, the CEO of BC Ferries, is paid a taxpayer funded salary of $452,771.25 per year and Erin Pinkerton is the CEO of BC Transit and is paid a taxpayer funded salary of $229,428 per year. Unbelievable!

Joe Sawchuk,

Duncan

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