The Commission is responsible for holding BC Ferries accountable. As such, we periodically review various aspects of BC Ferries’ operations.
June 28, 2023
COMMISSIONERS PROBE – ROUTE 23 SERVICE RELIABILITY
On May 1, 2023, the Commissioner queried BC Ferries on the reliability of the new Island Class vessels on route 23 as a result of concerns raised by residents of Quadra Island.
Residents stated that the new Island Class vessels, which were put into service on January 18, 2023, are not as reliable as the Powell River Queen that previously serviced this route.
June 24, 2022
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCE REVIEW
The BC Ferry Commission contracted with MNP LLP and Lucent Quay Consulting to undertake a review of BC Ferries’ public engagement process, with a focus on the Ferry Advisory Committees, to determine if the current engagement activities and initiatives undertaken by BC Ferries meet the goals and principles of their Engagement Commitment and whether their public engagement activities lead to improved decisions to appropriately consider the needs of ferry users including the public interest of affected coastal and Indigenous communities. The review resulted in a number of recommendations that were endorsed by the Commissioner and accepted by BC Ferries.
June 8, 2022
SERVICE RELIABILITY ON THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL COAST ROUTES
The North and Central Coast Ferry Advisory Committee met with the BC Ferries Commissioner and raised concerns about service reliability in the North, specifically on Route 11 between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii. The Commissioner then sought a response from BC Ferries to better understand the reasons for the service issues and what mitigation measures were taken to resolve them.
January 13, 2022
DROP TRAILER COMPLIANCE REVIEW
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was engaged by the BC Ferries Commissioner to review British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.’s (“BCFS”) drop trailer service in accordance with section 45.1 of the Coastal Ferry Act and the Commissioner’s order 16-01. BCFS appears to be in full compliance with section 45.1: Unfair Competitive Advantage Regulation and the Commissioner’s order for the Drop Trailer Service.
February 5, 2021
COMMISSIONER REVIEWS THE SERVICE RELIABILITY OF THE BAYNES SOUND CONNECTOR
In response to recent cancellations by the Baynes Sound Connector, the Commissioner conducted a review and have ordered BC Ferries to report quarterly, for the remainder of Performance Term 5, on the service reliability of the Baynes Sound Connector, the measures taken to minimize service interruptions and communications with ferry users on Route 21.
October 16, 2020
PERFORMANCE REVIEW ON PERFORMANCE TERM 5 PRICE CAP COMPLIANCE
A review was undertaken to confirm the Price Cap Methodology for PT5 with regard to (a) the treatment of the Province’s subsidy for fares for Seniors (b) the adjustment for foregone revenue as a result of the Fare Initiative and (c) the price cap position at the closing of Performance Term 4 (“PT4”). The price cap for PT5 involved recognition of these specific initiatives that began on April 1, 2018 and which had an impact on fares and the ending PT4 price cap balances. The Commission accepted the recognition of the price cap underage from PT4 to be carried forward to PT5. The Commission did not accept recognition of foregone revenue from BC Ferries and Provincial contributions towards the Fare Initiative program in the Price Cap Compliance Index, as these were taken into account when determining the price cap for PT5.
October 16, 2020
PERFORMANCE REVIEW OF BC FERRIES’ CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS PROCESS
The review concluded that BC Ferries’ customer complaint process is clearly defined for internal purposes with well trained and dedicated staff and a Complaint Resolution System used to effectively track and manage complaints, but offered up some recommendations for improvements. In addition, there is currently no explicit independent appeal process for customer complaints and, the Commissioners believe that, as a matter of public interest, an independent review process should be formally incorporated in BC Ferries’ customer complaints process for unresolved complaints.
September 30, 2019
PERFORMANCE REVIEW OF THE EFFICIENCY OF BC FERRIES
The review was an update of the 2015 efficiency review with focus on operating costs and exploring possibilities to reduce the cost of the current long term capital plan. The review concluded that while BC Ferries is exhibiting good cost control, it needs to continue with its current efforts to manage costs and increase efficiency. Based on the assessment, the 1% efficiency target established by the Commission in its Preliminary Price Cap Decision for PT5 is considered achievable, as opportunities exist to achieve operational efficiencies across several OM&A cost areas.
April 4, 2018
PERFORMANCE REVIEW OF BC FERRIES’ PROCUREMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES
The review assessed whether BC Ferries’ procurement policies and practices align with best practices, provides value for money and have adequate risk controls. It was found that BC Ferries’ procurement policies and procedures are relatively mature and in line with comparable organizations, procurement policies and practices are solid and supported by a strong capital planning process. A well-defined policy and governance framework provides consistent risk management and control within procurement processes. Contract mechanisms and vendor management enable BC Ferries to monitor and enforce supplier accountability, further supporting the achievement of value-for-money. Procurement risk management, oversight and assurance practices are strong in delivering the organization with value-for-money, but opportunities were identified in strengthening contract mechanisms to further mitigate and transfer risk.
February 9, 2018
PERFORMANCE REVIEW OF BC FERRIES’ ANNUAL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY
A review was undertaken of BC Ferries’ Customer Satisfaction Tracking Survey and it was found that the CST Survey approach should be revised or augmented with other measurement tools (information sources) to reasonably cover all routes and all customer segments and that BC Ferries should provide for more comprehensive and consolidated reporting. Communicating customer satisfaction measures, along with resulting actions taken by BC Ferries, needs to be more prominent and more frequent. Such improvements will help strengthen oversight and better highlight actions taken by BC Ferries to respond to customer satisfaction results on an ongoing basis.
Nov 20, 2017
REVIEW ON BC FERRIES’ COMPARATIVE FARE ANALYSIS
BC Ferries fares were compared against similar ferry operators. The conclusion was that (a) fares charged by BC Ferries do not appear to be excessive relative to comparable routes and (b) BC Ferries’ cost per nautical mile ranking in each category did not change significantly from the review undertaken in 2012 regardless if discounts were applied or excluded.
April 29, 2016
PERFORMANCE REVIEW ON BC FERRIES’ PRICE CAP COMPLIANCE
At the end of Performance Term 3 a review was undertaken to ensure the price compliance index was correct and to review the reasonableness of BC Ferries’ proposed price cap calculations for Performance Term 4. The review conclude that BC Ferries was in compliance with price cap requirements for the period from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2016 (Performance Term 3) and that BC Ferries have correctly implemented the proposed changes into the price cap calculation model for Performance Term 4.