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Old 07-14-2013, 08:25 PM   #126
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im with most of the others in here soundy, if you dont work for the ferries you should apply.

bc ferries is a complete failure as a company, and blaming the fact that they hemorrhage money on the cost of fuel is complete idiocy. every industry is effected by the rise in fuel costs. yet somehow the ferries are the only fucking company who cant overcome it?

in the past 5 years bc ferries ticket prices have gone up by 13% more than the average flight from vancouver to toronto, that number balloons to over 20% if you look at flights inside BC ( i fly alot within bc for business). i would argue that the airlines have had it much harder since 2008 than bc ferries, yet their prices have gone up much less and they remain very profitable. so bc ferries is clearly fucked up somewhere. and i have to agree that fuck up is where they pay people who flag cars at the terminals 25+ dollars an hour for something someone with the mental capacity of a child could handle.
An airline is able to cut unprofitable flights if the demand simply isn't there. They have that luxury. BC Ferries however, as many people have said, is an essential part of Highway 1. Cutting sailings to one direction a day for many of the islands is simply not feasible, even if those routes are always sailing at <50% capacity. Sure, they can put smaller boats on those routes but that's not necessarily always how it works out.

As for someone's comment earlier about how the crew simply stands around and does shit all for the majority of the trip, well... that's how it goes. It's like when I used to work in the film industry. I'd run around like a chicken without it's head for half an hour filming a few scenes, then stand around with my thumb up my ass for four hours while they swap sets and relight it. I was a very expensive extra body guarding a $200,000 camera and doing absolutely nothing else, but it was part of the job. It's the same with the crew members on BC Ferries. They do their job while loading and unloading, and other miscellaneous jobs that may come up, but during their downtime, there isn't much else to do. As mentioned, every last crew member is Transport Canada certified and is there to save your ass should another MV Queen of the North incident happen. Frankly, I'd rather not have minimum wage lackeys who are pulling double shifts be in that position once push comes to shove.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:08 PM   #127
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I have no idea what happens in the operations side of things. But I have worked in the new construction of ferries, it was gravy. It's the government, there are no penalties and they basically write a blank cheque. The former premier of our province was driving over twice the legal limit smiling in his mugshot. Slap on the wrist.


I've seen jobs done 3 times over on double time. $300 for a gym pass is nothing compared to tens of millions that could be saved in construction/maintenance.

The fast ferries had some advantages, actually quite a few but political parties and the media would have you believe otherwise.

Lets say you build 3 identical houses.
-Your first one will take 10 hours and there will be some mistakes.
-Your second will take 7 hours and there will be less mistakes.
-Your third one will take 5 hours and barely any mistakes.

Ferries should be like a school bus, simple and mass produced. Perhaps a modular design with various lengths. Just like the cummins diesel. Inline 4 that shares the same components with an inline 6 except block/crank and head.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:25 PM   #128
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However the topic of the last couple pages was regarding the giftcards, and I do not think the giftcard idea was a waste of money. Companies offer incentives all the time, and this was an incentive which benefited taxpayers due to benefits in health and reduced sick days, as well as increasing employee morale. The reality is it's a unionized environment, one where it's almost impossible to change; and given what we've got, this was a policy that I, as a taxpayer, didn't mind paying.
the difference was that i worked for a company who made millions in a year with very low overhead, their ROI was ludicrous for a few years and besides very few people say 1%, everyone else only got 100 bucks extra at christmas. and that was more than enough to make em feel special. bc ferries who loses millions every year gives employyes triple that? completely backwards...
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:31 PM   #129
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I have no idea what happens in the operations side of things. But I have worked in the new construction of ferries, it was gravy. It's the government, there are no penalties and they basically write a blank cheque. The former premier of our province was driving over twice the legal limit smiling in his mugshot. Slap on the wrist.

Ferries should be like a school bus, simple and mass produced. Perhaps a modular design with various lengths. Just like the cummins diesel. Inline 4 that shares the same components with an inline 6 except block/crank and head.
What does Gordon Campbell have to do with anything? Unless your job actually requires you to have a clean driving record - I would never expect a company to fire you because you were caught driving drunk.

And seriously? A modular design with various lengths? You obviously don't understand the complexities behind designing a ferry.


As well - you guys keep on repeating BC Ferries losing money... Like someone mentioned - you can't compare BC Ferries to a private company like Air Canada. BC Ferries is a pseudo crown corp meant to provide a service to our citizens. If they wanted to make money like Air Canada - they would charge everyone a regular fare, just like Air Canada does. That means that Seniors don't get to travel for free on certain days. That means that those large groups of school kids or sports teams won't be coming over. Why charge less?

Like Lomac said, Air Canada can cut unprofitable flights. BC Ferries can't cut their services.

They definitely have issues, don't get me wrong... I don't understand why they still don't accept Debit cards, but still accept Credit Cards. But do I think they're overpaid? Not really. Sure, some of those monkeys working the toll booths can be replaced with an idiot making $12 an hour. Will that solve their problems? No - People will still complain about the issues.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #130
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I have no idea what happens in the operations side of things. But I have worked in the new construction of ferries, it was gravy. It's the government, there are no penalties and they basically write a blank cheque. The former premier of our province was driving over twice the legal limit smiling in his mugshot. Slap on the wrist.


I've seen jobs done 3 times over on double time. $300 for a gym pass is nothing compared to tens of millions that could be saved in construction/maintenance.

The fast ferries had some advantages, actually quite a few but political parties and the media would have you believe otherwise.

Lets say you build 3 identical houses.
-Your first one will take 10 hours and there will be some mistakes.
-Your second will take 7 hours and there will be less mistakes.
-Your third one will take 5 hours and barely any mistakes.

Ferries should be like a school bus, simple and mass produced. Perhaps a modular design with various lengths. Just like the cummins diesel. Inline 4 that shares the same components with an inline 6 except block/crank and head.
This is the same thing with other unionized jobs. I.E construction projects not properly managed causing employees to get paid double time, police officers getting paid double time, nurses getting double time etc.

There's a trend going towards more temporary or casual workers in union jobs (workers that dont get the full time status and can be more easily laid off) that I think is helping the double pay/ OT problem.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:05 PM   #131
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the difference was that i worked for a company who made millions in a year with very low overhead, their ROI was ludicrous for a few years and besides very few people say 1%, everyone else only got 100 bucks extra at christmas. and that was more than enough to make em feel special. bc ferries who loses millions every year gives employyes triple that? completely backwards...
Not to be digressing from the main topic of the thread here. But I honestly think corporations like your company are ruining working standards and income inequality and are leading to the greater hatred towards corporations. And again, not to be disrespectful to you or your employees, but I think employees that think this is acceptable are further adding to the problem.

A lot more people now are talking about how Wall street corporation are producing record profits, their executives and CEOs are getting paid record bonuses and severance packages, but those same profits and benefits are not being shared with the companies workers. Yet the media and corporations are telling you the company is struggling, it's a bad economy and you should just be happy you have a job, stop complaining about not getting a raise etc. and get back to work, you should be working overtime for free etc.

This is north america, we dont want working standards to be like china.

I really dislike unions, but it's greedy corporations like these which were the reasons unions formed in the first place. Unions formed and forced standard working weeks, your standard work days and unions were instrumental in us having weekends off in the first place.

As a former financial sector employee, I really think wall street has made a few very rich and many really poor. Wall street has forced companies to think profits ahead of employees.

The company my brother works for is a large, private, family owned business with a net worth of approximately $700 million, they havnt laid anyone off in decades and when the company does well , everyone gets a really large bonus, from the guy at the bottom to the guy at the top. When one type of job becomes obsolete, instead of laying off the employees, the owner paid to train the employees so that they can work in another department. These type of corporations are almost non-existent nowadays.

Anyways, I digress.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:27 PM   #132
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What does Gordon Campbell have to do with anything? Unless your job actually requires you to have a clean driving record - I would never expect a company to fire you because you were caught driving drunk.

And seriously? A modular design with various lengths? You obviously don't understand the complexities behind designing a ferry.


As well - you guys keep on repeating BC Ferries losing money... Like someone mentioned - you can't compare BC Ferries to a private company like Air Canada. BC Ferries is a pseudo crown corp meant to provide a service to our citizens. If they wanted to make money like Air Canada - they would charge everyone a regular fare, just like Air Canada does. That means that Seniors don't get to travel for free on certain days. That means that those large groups of school kids or sports teams won't be coming over. Why charge less?

Like Lomac said, Air Canada can cut unprofitable flights. BC Ferries can't cut their services.

They definitely have issues, don't get me wrong... I don't understand why they still don't accept Debit cards, but still accept Credit Cards. But do I think they're overpaid? Not really. Sure, some of those monkeys working the toll booths can be replaced with an idiot making $12 an hour. Will that solve their problems? No - People will still complain about the issues.
If I recall correctly, AC although its a "private" company still requires to serve bilingually and provide routes to the middle of nowhere that's unprofitable while westjet cherry picks the profitable ones that AC has.

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Not to be digressing from the main topic of the thread here. But I honestly think corporations like your company are ruining working standards and income inequality and are leading to the greater hatred towards corporations. And again, not to be disrespectful to you or your employees, but I think employees that think this is acceptable are further adding to the problem.

A lot more people now are talking about how Wall street corporation are producing record profits, their executives and CEOs are getting paid record bonuses and severance packages, but those same profits and benefits are not being shared with the companies workers. Yet the media and corporations are telling you the company is struggling, it's a bad economy and you should just be happy you have a job, stop complaining about not getting a raise etc. and get back to work, you should be working overtime for free etc.

This is north america, we dont want working standards to be like china.

I really dislike unions, but it's greedy corporations like these which were the reasons unions formed in the first place. Unions formed and forced standard working weeks, your standard work days and unions were instrumental in us having weekends off in the first place.

As a former financial sector employee, I really think wall street has made a few very rich and many really poor. Wall street has forced companies to think profits ahead of employees.

The company my brother works for is a large, private, family owned business with a net worth of approximately $700 million, they havnt laid anyone off in decades and when the company does well , everyone gets a really large bonus, from the guy at the bottom to the guy at the top. When one type of job becomes obsolete, instead of laying off the employees, the owner paid to train the employees so that they can work in another department. These type of corporations are almost non-existent nowadays.

Anyways, I digress.
It's due to the shareholder law that requires corporations to maximize return to its shareholders. family owned private companies can care about its employees a lot better than most public companies.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:29 PM   #133
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As well - you guys keep on repeating BC Ferries losing money... Like someone mentioned - you can't compare BC Ferries to a private company like Air Canada. BC Ferries is a pseudo crown corp meant to provide a service to our citizens. If they wanted to make money like Air Canada - they would charge everyone a regular fare, just like Air Canada does. That means that Seniors don't get to travel for free on certain days. That means that those large groups of school kids or sports teams won't be coming over. Why charge less?

Like Lomac said, Air Canada can cut unprofitable flights. BC Ferries can't cut their services.
Actually...

Air Canada received a $922,000,000 federal bailout in 2009.

The federals government was willing to bailout Air Canada, at least partially, because they do not completely axe underperforming domestic routes when they are the only carrier serving it. And, it's those exact routes that cause them to lose money. In many ways, Air Canada is similar to BC Ferries in that respect.

Air Canada has a distinct advantage over BC Ferries, however. They can choose to begin flying a very profitable route to the Caribbean to help subsidize the underperforming domestic routes, and BC Ferries has to work with what they've got.

Just something additional for all the anti-BC Ferries people pointing to air carriers to consider.

Another point: if BC Ferries was overpriced a competing private ferry service would take advantage, but whenever one has they've quickly gone out of business, because they can't offer ferry service any less expensively. Food for thought.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:37 PM   #134
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An airline is able to cut unprofitable flights if the demand simply isn't there. They have that luxury. BC Ferries however, as many people have said, is an essential part of Highway 1. Cutting sailings to one direction a day for many of the islands is simply not feasible, even if those routes are always sailing at <50% capacity. Sure, they can put smaller boats on those routes but that's not necessarily always how it works out.

As for someone's comment earlier about how the crew simply stands around and does shit all for the majority of the trip, well... that's how it goes. It's like when I used to work in the film industry. I'd run around like a chicken without it's head for half an hour filming a few scenes, then stand around with my thumb up my ass for four hours while they swap sets and relight it. I was a very expensive extra body guarding a $200,000 camera and doing absolutely nothing else, but it was part of the job. It's the same with the crew members on BC Ferries. They do their job while loading and unloading, and other miscellaneous jobs that may come up, but during their downtime, there isn't much else to do. As mentioned, every last crew member is Transport Canada certified and is there to save your ass should another MV Queen of the North incident happen. Frankly, I'd rather not have minimum wage lackeys who are pulling double shifts be in that position once push comes to shove.

BC ferries does change the Schedule depending on the demand and is thinking about cutting sailing during non peak times of the year. The tellers at the dock use to read romance novels when there were no customers you could see the book sitting right next to them.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:14 PM   #135
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Actually...

Another point: if BC Ferries was overpriced a competing private ferry service would take advantage, but whenever one has they've quickly gone out of business, because they can't offer ferry service any less expensively. Food for thought.
I've heard the reason why private ferries fail is that BC ferries don't allow them to use their terminals to load cars, and passenger only ferries don't have much appeal. Where else in the lower mainland is it possible to load cars?

I'd love to have a barge that only loads commercial vehicles to compete against BC ferries. But then if BC ferries lose more money to competition, the taxpayers will cough up more money. Lose-Lose

Let's all just blame the pioneers for settling in Vancouver Island and creating the capital there.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:27 PM   #136
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I've heard the reason why private ferries fail is that BC ferries don't allow them to use their terminals to load cars, and passenger only ferries don't have much appeal. Where else in the lower mainland is it possible to load cars?

I'd love to have a barge that only loads commercial vehicles to compete against BC ferries. But then if BC ferries lose more money to competition, the taxpayers will cough up more money. Lose-Lose

Let's all just blame the pioneers for settling in Vancouver Island and creating the capital there.
Why would BC Ferries allow a competitor to use its terminals?

BC Ferries owns the existing infrastructure, and should a private company wish to compete they'll build their own infrastructure. Private companies do not wish to compete, however, because (1) BC Ferries is able to offer routes at very low prices due to subsidization, buying power, and diversification, and (2) because our coast is a wasteland of failed ferry services. BC Ferries prices can't be beat, period, so complaining about ticket takers wages is pointless.

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Old 07-14-2013, 11:44 PM   #137
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I would also make the assumption that if a competitor were to want to use BC Ferries' existing infrastructure that BC Ferries would levy some sort of usage fees. Most likely, this would be aimed at distributing the actual costs of the terminals, their upkeep and their eventual replacement. Which, of course, would most likely be more than a private company would want to pay because these ferries just really don't make money.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:28 AM   #138
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I'd love to have a barge that only loads commercial vehicles to compete against BC ferries. But then if BC ferries lose more money to competition, the taxpayers will cough up more money. Lose-Lose
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:40 AM   #139
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Today I see that I share revscene with a couple of MBA's(of course, they pop up everywhere) but the marine architect is new. Tell me, any CGA's want to pop in and inform us how BCF is doing that wrong too? Because you know, you've seen the books on the internet.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #140
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Not to be digressing from the main topic of the thread here. But I honestly think corporations like your company are ruining working standards and income inequality and are leading to the greater hatred towards corporations. And again, not to be disrespectful to you or your employees, but I think employees that think this is acceptable are further adding to the problem.
you know nothing of the company i work for, i graduated from bcit in july of last year, i started working for them in august. and i was making over 110k a year in a starting role. the company i work for has many families of people working for them cause its such a good place...

dont be an idiot. you get paid to perform a role, why do you need bonuses for doing that?
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:26 PM   #141
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.

dont be an idiot. you get paid to perform a role, why do you need bonuses for doing that?
Companies have various ways of retaining staff. Some pay bonuses, other provide benefits, and a few provide really good work environments. Some companies use a combination of incentives, and others provide nothing at all. Why should BC Ferries be criticized because they decide to use an incentive to keep their employees motivated?

People want government to be run "like a business"? Well, many businesses I know (and worked for) paid their staff bonuses for meeting and/or exceeding objectives.

If BC Ferries is so bad, why not use an alternative? Harbour Air is a great alternative: people should try it sometime.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:13 PM   #142
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Companies have various ways of retaining staff. Some pay bonuses, other provide benefits, and a few provide really good work environments. Some companies use a combination of incentives, and others provide nothing at all. Why should BC Ferries be criticized because they decide to use an incentive to keep their employees motivated?

People want government to be run "like a business"? Well, many businesses I know (and worked for) paid their staff bonuses for meeting and/or exceeding objectives.

If BC Ferries is so bad, why not use an alternative? Harbour Air is a great alternative: people should try it sometime.
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Most people traveling require a car on the other side. Taking a plane and then renting a car makes no sense.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:19 PM   #143
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Most people traveling require a car on the other side. Taking a plane and then renting a car makes no sense.
I do believe that's his point.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:01 PM   #144
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CP Rail used to run a car/truck/rail ferry service, a few decades ago, from downtown Vancouver to downtown Nanaimo - the "Princess of Vancouver".



For those who don't think a nicely appointed, comfortable ride on the ferry is worth anything, take note of this from a Princess of Vancouver historian:

"...these photos were taken after the P.O.V's "second" retirement in 1981. She was originally retired in 1978-79 when the CPR realized she just couldn't compete with the new C class's speed and comfort. But, for some reason, CP decided, in 1980, to give it one more try, but after a few months finally gave up. I remember seeing these big, splashy ads in the papers announcing the return of the P.O.V's downtown to downtown service. Also, I remember taking a C class from Nanaimo to H. Bay that summer, and as we shot out of Departure Bay, there was the Princess, also leaving Nanaimo directly abeam of us, trundling along. Needless to say, we outran her, leaving her in our wake, in no time flat."

So basically... there have been alternatives in the past, and they've never been cost-effective in the long run.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:24 AM   #145
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Most people traveling require a car on the other side. Taking a plane and then renting a car makes no sense.
A ferry to the island is at least three hours round trip - more if you're driving to a small town on the island to meet a client. On the other hand, a flight by Harbour Air to Nanaimo, Comox, etc. takes maybe an hour round trip. Time is money, so to some businesses and business people, the time saved flying Harbour Air + renting a car might be worth the expense. Plus, Harbour Air offers a wonderful experience with attentive and friendly staff, a wonderful terminal in downtown Vancouver, and free refreshments.

You're paying 160 each way for BC Ferries, plus mileage on your car. You pay maybe 160-180 for a flight with Harbour Air plus a car rental for a day ($40/day). You may save a couple hundred of bucks with BC Ferries, but you save half a day flying which might mean more to you or your company. Personally, I'd rather drive a rental Chevy Cruise to Port Alberni than put mileage on (insert European sport sedan of choice).
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:51 AM   #146
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Companies have various ways of retaining staff. Some pay bonuses, other provide benefits, and a few provide really good work environments. Some companies use a combination of incentives, and others provide nothing at all. Why should BC Ferries be criticized because they decide to use an incentive to keep their employees motivated?

People want government to be run "like a business"? Well, many businesses I know (and worked for) paid their staff bonuses for meeting and/or exceeding objectives.

If BC Ferries is so bad, why not use an alternative? Harbour Air is a great alternative: people should try it sometime.
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How many companies that are in the red year after year give extra bonuses to there employees? If BC ferries was treated like a regular business they would have been bankrupt years ago. It's also not like there are lots of companies that are willing to hire BC ferries employees and give them the same wages. Turnover at BC ferries is super low. With a grade 12 education you are not going to do any better than a jub at BC ferries.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:57 AM   #147
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How many companies that are in the red year after year give extra bonuses to there employees? If BC ferries was treated like a regular business they would have been bankrupt years ago. It's also not like there are lots of companies that are willing to hire BC ferries employees and give them the same wages. Turnover at BC ferries is super low. With a grade 12 education you are not going to do any better than a jub at BC ferries.
I would argue that they're running a deficit because they're forced to run routes that are not profitable. My view is that it was a stupid decision to privatize the system, but that ship has sailed.

Do you have access to statistics that state the average level of education of BC Ferries employees? Just because the job descriptions state that you only need Grade 12 doesn't mean that their workforce is composed of people with only high school. Even if you get rid of the unions, you still have to pay people who work on the ship a reasonable wage. I think $20/hour is reasonable, but I'm sure there are different opinions.

I feel for people who live on the island though who want to come to the mainland more often. On the other hand, while 400K buys me a shoebox condo in Burnaby, that same money buys me a detached house in areas on the island. C'est la vie.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:07 AM   #148
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If BC Ferries is so bad, why not use an alternative? Harbour Air is a great alternative: people should try it sometime.
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i fly regularly from vancouver to victoria. in fact its been atleast 5 years since i caught the ferry, in that time i have been to the island 20 times
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:51 PM   #149
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A ferry to the island is at least three hours round trip - more if you're driving to a small town on the island to meet a client. On the other hand, a flight by Harbour Air to Nanaimo, Comox, etc. takes maybe an hour round trip. Time is money, so to some businesses and business people, the time saved flying Harbour Air + renting a car might be worth the expense. Plus, Harbour Air offers a wonderful experience with attentive and friendly staff, a wonderful terminal in downtown Vancouver, and free refreshments.

You're paying 160 each way for BC Ferries, plus mileage on your car. You pay maybe 160-180 for a flight with Harbour Air plus a car rental for a day ($40/day). You may save a couple hundred of bucks with BC Ferries, but you save half a day flying which might mean more to you or your company. Personally, I'd rather drive a rental Chevy Cruise to Port Alberni than put mileage on (insert European sport sedan of choice).
Just a small niggle there... it's roughly $67 one way to take a car plus driver across the water. Only way you're paying $160 is if driving a big rig or a bus driver and has to pay all of the passenger's fares.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:19 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
A ferry to the island is at least three hours round trip - more if you're driving to a small town on the island to meet a client. On the other hand, a flight by Harbour Air to Nanaimo, Comox, etc. takes maybe an hour round trip. Time is money, so to some businesses and business people, the time saved flying Harbour Air + renting a car might be worth the expense. Plus, Harbour Air offers a wonderful experience with attentive and friendly staff, a wonderful terminal in downtown Vancouver, and free refreshments.

You're paying 160 each way for BC Ferries, plus mileage on your car. You pay maybe 160-180 for a flight with Harbour Air plus a car rental for a day ($40/day). You may save a couple hundred of bucks with BC Ferries, but you save half a day flying which might mean more to you or your company. Personally, I'd rather drive a rental Chevy Cruise to Port Alberni than put mileage on (insert European sport sedan of choice).
Its 85.25 for one person, car and for reservation. Without reserve it's 66.75 all in. you have the convenience of your own car. Cost wise the ferry is better than flying. Also you don't have the headache of renting a car, returning it. Waiting at the rental place. When it's stormy weather the ferry is more reliable with time. Often the planes are delayed. So if you are on a strict schedule the ferry is a better option even though it's a longer commute. I personally would never fly on such small plane on a weekly basis. Too scary.
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