Re: "Government not playing fair with ferry costs," and "Ferries should consider no-fee advance booking," Nov. 22.
Brian Hollingshead makes it clear that the figures are being manipulated to conceal the real costs of the losses on several ferry routes. He concludes with the compelling argument that all other public transit systems in our province rely on government funding in providing a vitally needed public service. Such taxpayer subsidies suggest the need for public involvement and thus part of the fix for the current money losing operation should be to ensure an appropriate level of public oversight in the future.
Letter-writer George Creek makes an equally compelling case that a no-fee advance booking system for the ferries could be implemented to save millions annually in operating costs. This has been proposed to B.C. Ferries many times before and was rejected.
Unfortunately, the current superficial public-consultation process is structured so that its main purpose seems to be to implicate users in draconian solutions based on increased fares and reduced service levels.
Ferries are part of the public transportation system - they require significant subsidies just like all other public transit. Therefore, the ferry system requires both significant public input as well as oversight.
So let's get on with scrapping the failed pseudo-privatization effort and replace it with a Crown corporation model, acknowledging the critical role played by the ferries in providing essential transportation to Vancouver Island and its many smaller island communities.
© Copyright 2013