POWELL RIVER, BC- The provincial government released its budget last week, and BC Ferries was one of the focuses contained in the announcement.

Fares will be frozen on all major routes, and the seniors passenger fare discount is set to be fully restored. Fares will also be rolled back on minor routes by 15 per cent.

“We were excited to see that along with those promises and that commitment, came an increased subsidy to BC Ferries to cover those costs,” said Kim Barton-Bridges, chair of the Northern Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee.

“There’s other ships that need to be replaced, and terminals that need work, so we were worried about where the money was gonna come from for that, but the government has committed to increase the funding for BC Ferries in this budget year by $26.5 million, and in the coming year, by $32 million.”

She noted that the relationship between BC Ferries and the provincial government is strong.

She said the moves on BC Ferries implemented in the budget have received a positive reception from the committee and members of the public.

“I think any reduction in the fares is a good thing. I also think that it’s great to see the seniors receiving that (discount), because I know that’s a challenge for them. I think that people are really happy about it,” she said.

She expressed excitement over new vessels in the ferries fleet, and said the future is bright for both the company and its customers.