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Old 10-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #101
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The only bit of useful information I took from the infographic...

The CEO of BC Ferries earns a surprisingly low salary given the degree of responsibility, and complexity of the logistics.
His salary used to be the highest in the province in 2009/2010 @ just shy of $1,000,000 yearly. I believe there was pressure to lower the salary as BC Ferries was proposing so many price hikes meanwhile their CEO is being paid the highest in government.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:26 PM   #102
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His salary used to be the highest in the province in 2009/2010 @ just shy of $1,000,000 yearly. I believe there was pressure to lower the salary as BC Ferries was proposing so many price hikes meanwhile their CEO is being paid the highest in government.
Yup, I posted on the last page that the Province passed legislation to limit the executives salaries.

The Publics' knee-jerk reaction is that all executives of crown corporations are overpaid, but that simply isn't always the case and no one checks the hard facts. People who reach the highest levels of management in business don't do it by chance or sticking-it-out union style, they do it through raw talent, intelligence, and dedication. The finite pool of talent at that level coupled with the high demand for specific skill-sets leads to high wages for every successful CEO leading any business, crown corp status or not.

$563k is pennies, really.... a big-box-store manager earns $200-250k to supervise a bunch of cashiers and promoted cashiers in a big-concrete-box. Corrigan is supervising a fleet of ships that transport millions of tons of freight and hundreds of thousands of people annually, and gets only a little more than double boss-big-box, his wage should be a mil.

BC Ferries has also restructured their board of executives.... going from 17 to 9 in the last three years.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:41 AM   #103
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I don't begrudge a quality salary to those in charge. I think you do need to be competitive.

My issue comes in when he has a team of 20 vp's, each also getting paid handsomely, and 15 managers each reporting to them, also making bank.

Let's pay some decent people, pay them well and have them actually do something for it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:37 PM   #104
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I believe the executive compensation is justified for the CEO of BC ferries and many of the execs but I am divided on the necessary number they require to run the operation as I have no industry knowledge. It would not be comparable for a member of the public who makes 34k a year to compare himself to a CEO who makes 1 million and conclude that they are overpaid simply because it is so much higher than what he makes.

Just my opinion, 9-5 workdays is not in the dictionary for CEOs. I don't know if that's the case here, but they tend to work long hours. They have made the commitment to dedicate their life to work and their personality reflects a work ethic that a lot of people don't have. They may also be involved on other boards and volunteer with non-profits. You don't get to CEO level (I have noticed that many hold graduate level designations) in one day and if there were more qualified people around, I believe that there would be less justification for higher remuneration (law of scarcity). Proven executives do get headhunted and offered better deals in terms of money and opportunities to leave at times and that can pose significant threats to an organization's profitability and thus future viability.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:00 PM   #105
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I don't begrudge a quality salary to those in charge. I think you do need to be competitive.

My issue comes in when he has a team of 20 vp's, each also getting paid handsomely, and 15 managers each reporting to them, also making bank.

Let's pay some decent people, pay them well and have them actually do something for it.
17 VP's might have been high, 9 VP's is competitive IMO.

In comparison, Westjet has 6, Air Canada has 22.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:28 PM   #106
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17 VP's might have been high, 9 VP's is competitive IMO.

In comparison, Westjet has 6, Air Canada has 22.
Wow, and I was just pulling numbers out of my ass. I couldn't remember how many they had.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #107
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I've been on the Ferries Over 100X in my life, as I use to live on the island and would come over to the mainland quite often. However since I've moved over I'd only go back like once a year.

Regarding the service: it's much much better than before. I don't know if people here expect hotel level service or whatever but they get the job done. I get from A to B in a reasonable time frame. I remember we would have to listen to the radio and/or get to the terminals super early because we didn't want to miss departures. It seems way more reliable now than in the past.

Quality of the boats: Significantly better, this is expected as newer boats tend to be better.

Looking at all the facts in this thread, it appears like direct costs like fuel and direct labour isn't a valid reason as to why they are losing money. The people on the boat have to be trained in case of an emergency and thus have to be paid accordingly. I have no issues with this. Except for the ticket agents (and possibly a few other staff) that are not on the actual ferry getting paid lots to admit fairs, there's not much room within their control to save costs here.

It seems the problems are with overhead and management costs? I've been hearing that BC Ferries has much more managers than before? But are these managers earning their keep?

Also the costs of the trip up to the sunshine cost and prince rupert are a money loser to them. I understand like with all transit, the major routes subsidize the less frequent ones. But I think less frequent trips up north might reduce some of the costs.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:03 PM   #108
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Regarding BC Ferries losing money, I would look at three main reasons for that: fuel costs, inefficient routes, and low ridership - all largely outside of management control.

As was noted earlier, BC Ferries recently went to the Province to ask permission to drop 400 runs and only had 98 approved.

Ridership is at a 20 year low for BC Ferries - that hits the bottom line hard too.

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BC Ferries facing rough financial seas


The BC Ferries corporation is currently carrying a fiscal year-end loss of $16.5 million, despite raising rates eight years in a row – and critics warn the company is a sinking ship that could soon go under if problems aren’t addressed.

Fares have increased 40 per cent in recent years, and on Monday the British Columbia Ferry Commission announced they will jump a further 12 per cent by 2016.

But a local ferries watchdog says increasing prices is counterintuitive, and already driving a serious slump in ridership.
“I believe they’ve hit the tipping point already,” said BC Coastal Transportation Society president Gregg Dow. “We’re seeing the drops in traffic. We’re at a 20-year low.”

Some riders complain that the cruise line-styled service is being tailored more for international tourists than British Columbians, many of whom feel the cost is prohibitively expensive.

But reducing rates is a tough sell given the company’s finances. Besides dwindling passenger numbers, there are fuel rates, which increased 140 per cent this year, and the fact that the company’s fleet is so old 15 vessels need to be replaced in the next 15 years.

The NDP ferries critic believes the approaching need for new vessels could be solved by bringing back B.C.’s ship building industry, and promises his party would do so if elected to power.

“We’d build our vessels in British Columbia, and ensure they are the right size,” MLA Gary Coons said. “We’ve seen some of the ships built are over capacity.”
Some savings could also come from converting the existing ships to run on liquefied natural gas, but BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan told CTV News in August the process presents “a challenge right now.”

Corrigan declined to be interviewed for this story, but previously blamed the drop in ridership on a myriad of factors.

“It’s a microcosm of everything that’s going on. Fares are a contributing factor, but so is the weather. So is the Canadian dollar, the price at the pump, the overall economy. It all fits together,” Corrigan said.

The company is currently being kept afloat thanks to $80 million of ballast poured in by the province. The government promised the much-needed cash injection on the condition that BC Ferries find $30 million in savings.

So far, 80 positions have been eliminated and a freeze has been imposed on hiring and salaries.
A public consultation process is also about to begin to decide what runs can be cut to further save costs.


Read more: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/bc-ferries-faci...#ixzz28drZiYVa
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Experts skeptical over B.C. Ferries boss Mike Corrigan's excuse for fewer passengers

compared to the previous fiscal year, vehicle traffic went down 3.5 per cent and passenger traffic dropped 2.8 per cent. Fuel costs were up $4 million, while the aging fleet experienced an $8.5 million increase in amortization costs.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Expe...#ixzz28dsu6gLC

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Old 10-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #109
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Lemme guess...the replacement ferries are hybrids or something that BC Ferries will try to sell to us as costing a hell of a lot now but will save money over 20 years...
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #110
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Not compared to the older ferries. The fast ferries had the worst seats.
The fast ferries were a joke from the waterline up. The carpet looked like something Picasso would puke up. The stairs to the upper deck weren't wide enough for two people to pass each other. The all-aluminum car decks were stupidly slick when they got wet. We sat for half an hour on one once while they tried to get a log un-jammed from one of the water intakes. I have good sea legs, and even I had trouble walking on one in even mild seas, seas you'd barely feel on the deep-vee hulls.

On the bright side, with the arcade at midship, playing pinball in rolling seas was a whole new challenge!

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Can someone explain to me why the hell the top dogs for BC Ferries are paid such high wages when they are basically running a monopoloy with no actual competition to speak of?
This has been addressed three times now. Go back and read the thread.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:14 PM   #111
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Lemme guess...the replacement ferries are hybrids or something that BC Ferries will try to sell to us as costing a hell of a lot now but will save money over 20 years...
The old ferries were electric.

The electric power was generates by Mercedes Benz Diesel engines.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:00 AM   #112
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I believe you'll find almost all large ship designs, as with train engines, use diesel-electric drive systems, where the actual drive components (screws, wheels, etc.) are powered by electric motors, and the engines are there merely to provide power generation.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:57 AM   #113
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A hybrid would have batteries
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:20 AM   #114
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Submarines have used batteries since before they used diesel... don't think they've ever been considered "hybrid". Whether a ship has batteries to back up the engines or not, they're still electric drive.

A "hybrid" car is so named because it can be driven by both electric and internal-combustion engines. Whether a ship has batteries to back up the engines or not, they're still electric drive. There are few if any common ship designs that drive the screws directly from the engines.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:52 AM   #115
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I've lived on Vancouver Island for over 30 years and taken the ferry countless times.

It is a difficult situation. Raise ferry rate and ridership goes down. Lower rates and there is no increase in ridership (proven by the Coast Saver promotion).

One day we will likely see some ferry runs that aren't on a set schedule. They will only travel once the boat is full.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:14 AM   #116
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One day we will likely see some ferry runs that aren't on a set schedule. They will only travel once the boat is full.
Yeah, problem with that is, nobody will ever know when to show up. Plus it would wreak havoc with a lot of business travel.

Prime example: about the only time I go to the Island these days is to service our installs at the Cactus Clubs in Victoria and Nanaimo. Most work I have to do is in the public areas, which means I have to be wrapped up and cleared out before 11am. Getting there in time to get anything done means catching the first boat in the morning, which for Victoria means sailing at 7am and getting to site about 9am.

Now what would happen if they didn't leave until the boat was full, and it took until, say, 8:30am to reach that point (unlikely, yes, but just for the sake of argument)? Now I'm getting to site with under half an hour to spare... my only other option is heading over the night before and getting a hotel so I can be in early... so there's an extra $100 right there.

And what are you going to do if the last sailing of the night isn't full? Sit there all night and hope the rest of it fills up in the morning?

What if you're running at 50% full at Departure Bay, but have a one-sailing wait at Horseshoe Bay? Does the ship at DB just sit there waiting to fill up instead of getting over to HSB to pick up its *guaranteed full* return run there?

Logistically, the only way you could run a service that way is to run it as a charter... and make people pay through the nose for the privilege of having the boat run on their personal schedules.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #117
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It's a rising problem I know. I was on the island for a about a couple months for school. Came back every single weekend for 4 months so that would be $30, there and back. Multiply by 4 weeks in a month and by 4 months its $480. When I there they raised it from $14.50 to $15.50 and I thought it was pretty outrageous but on the other hand I knew the gas prices were skyrocketing. When I came back every weekend though, the ship was almost always full. Idk about normal business days though
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:11 PM   #118
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I went to Nanaimo yesterday for the first time in years. Driving over for the day was going to be outrageous, so me and my friend walked on instead. As a walk on passenger, the price was pretty decent. Frankly, I have no problem with paying $15 per trip to do it. However, if it was going to be a family of, say, four of us, it literally would have been cheaper to walk on and rent a cheap econo car once you hit the island.

The ferries are definitely nicer than they used to be. The food court... well, it's all White Spot and Breadgarden food, so I'm sure there's money being made by selling that space to those companies. The gift shops were also pretty packed for most of the trips, so I imagine there's some decent money being made as well.

Frankly, the ferries themselves I'm good with. I still feel that dropping the price of drive-on traffic would help (not just random saver discounts, but a proper price cut), but apart from that, I don't think there's much else that can be done at that aspect to save money.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:57 PM   #119
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I went to Nanaimo yesterday for the first time in years. Driving over for the day was going to be outrageous, so me and my friend walked on instead. As a walk on passenger, the price was pretty decent. Frankly, I have no problem with paying $15 per trip to do it. However, if it was going to be a family of, say, four of us, it literally would have been cheaper to walk on and rent a cheap econo car once you hit the island.
You pay the same per person whether they walk on or ride on in a car. Current fare is $49.25 for the car and $14.85 per person over 12. So if your car rental is <$100 a day, then yeah, it's cheaper to walk on and rent a car on the other side regardless of whether it's a whole family, or just you. BTW, don't forget to factor in parking in Horseshoe Bay for the day:
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:21 AM   #120
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I'd support a mandatory pre-paid reservation based sailing system for the smaller-major routes (Ie Gulf islands), as long as placing the reservation was free (But have a penalty for cancellation).

I think that would go a long way to more effectively sail full boats.


I can't see that happening on the major routes though, nor do I want that on the major routes.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:49 PM   #121
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I think the major routes especially rely a fair bit on spur-of-the-moment traffic, or planned-but-we'll-get-there-when-we-get-there traffic. Some, like the Southern Gulf Islands sailings, consistently have two- or three-sailing waits and would probably benefit from mandatory reservations.

Having a non-refundable deposit *that's applied to your fare* would definitely help - it sucks to put down the extra for a reso and then get there to find the boat is only 50% full and you effectively wasted the extra money. Maybe they should put the reso fee back toward the fare if the boat sails and isn't full.

It would help too, if they didn't have such limited times to claim your reso - you have to be there within one hour of your scheduled sailing, but can't claim the reso less than half an hour before the sailing. When you're coming from a fair distance (like me, from Pitt Meadows), trying to hit that half-hour window can be tricky when the trip can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours depending on traffic.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:44 PM   #122
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I was forever soured by the reservation system on Christmas Eve a few years ago. I reserved for the 10am ferry, was at the terminal at 9:25. They didn't have a dedicated booth for reservation holders, so I had to wait in the regular line up which put me at 9:32 by the time I paid my fare. The fucking bitch at the booth said "too bad" and put me in general loading.

I just about went postal.

Since then I realised that about 90% of the time showing up 1/2 an hour before the sailing will get you on anyways, so I haven't reserved since.

Basically I think the reservation should be valid to the point the ship's doors close, otherwise what's the fucking point?

I like the idea of giving a credit towards the fare if the reservation wasn't necessary to make the sailing. I mean it's to BC Ferries' best interests to have more people reserve. But less people are going to want to do it if they don't see themselves getting their money's worth (like me).
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #123
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Only time I reserve is when I have to be across by a certain time, like the aforementioned service jobs - I've never hit a full ship (yet) but at the same time, if I don't get that 7am sailing, the trip is wasted, so it's better not to take the risk (plus, it's on the company card, so it's not out of my pocket )
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:12 PM   #124
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I was forever soured by the reservation system on Christmas Eve a few years ago. I reserved for the 10am ferry, was at the terminal at 9:25. They didn't have a dedicated booth for reservation holders, so I had to wait in the regular line up which put me at 9:32 by the time I paid my fare. The fucking bitch at the booth said "too bad" and put me in general loading.

I just about went postal.

Since then I realised that about 90% of the time showing up 1/2 an hour before the sailing will get you on anyways, so I haven't reserved since.

Basically I think the reservation should be valid to the point the ship's doors close, otherwise what's the fucking point?

I like the idea of giving a credit towards the fare if the reservation wasn't necessary to make the sailing. I mean it's to BC Ferries' best interests to have more people reserve. But less people are going to want to do it if they don't see themselves getting their money's worth (like me).
A nearly identical situation happened to me just this past August, but it was the woman directing traffic at the beginning of the line. We reserved for a ferry half past the hour and arrived a few minutes before the hour. Apparently, according to the woman's watch, we were one minute late and missed our reservation so she put us in the general line up. To say we were annoyed is an understatement; we had another car of friends in the reservation line and just slipped in front of them instead, but the woman noticed and forced us back out. Luckily the woman at the booth we eventually ended up at noticed the commotion and actually gave us a gift card to credit back our reservation fee. At the end of it all, we missed our ferry -- we were the next car to get on but they cut the line off in front of us. Ruined our day
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:20 AM   #125
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I have only reserved for a ferry once and that was for a friends wedding. During the summer they have people directing traffic at the departure bay terminal. we get there 40 minutes early and tell the girl working we have a reservation. She puts us in the line for people that don't have a reservation without us knowing.

As it gets closer to the sailing we get worried because cars are starting to load and we are not. Talk to another person and he tells us we are in the wrong line and it's to late. I tell him to bring the manager. The manager tells me the girl working never makes a mistake. after complaining for a few more minutes they let us on with minutes to spare.

They need to just get rid of the reservation system and just make it first come first serve like it was before.
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