Darin Guenette: BC Ferries Manager of Public Affairs

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Did you know that the person who serves your All Aboard breakfast or the clerk who sells you a magazine in the gift shop when you travel on a BC ferry has also had intensive training in marine emergency response?   After the tragic Queen of the North accident in 2006, BC Ferries implemented a safety program (SailSafe) equal to none and every single employee has now been trained to save lives in an emergency situation.  https://abcmi.ca/bc-ferries-wins-dupont-safety-sustainability-awards/

 This is just one of many interesting facts related to us by Darin Guenette, Manager of Public Affairs for BC Ferries,  during his presentation to PROBUS on February 2nd.  Here are some of them:

  • The Ferry service is highly diverse having 26 routes, 47 terminals and over 4500 employees.
  • There are currently 35 vessels carrying between 12 to 358 vehicles, 133 to 2052 passengers with between 4 and 50 crew members on board.
  • Their “on time” rate equals 90.8% with a fleet reliability of 99.7%.
  • A total of 24 babies have been born on BC Ferries and, if you happen to be one of them, you get free passenger fare for life.
  • In 2016 there were 28 rescues at sea.
  • In 2016 over 28,000 Nanaimo bars were sold on board!
  • BC Ferries carry about 21 million passengers a year and 8.3 million vehicles on 470 average daily sailings.
  • Some financials:  The total revenue for 2017 was over $860 million with $727 million in costs.  Any profit they make goes back into maintenance.
  • Things that have influenced ferry usage over the years are:  Fares, the US dollar, the BC economy, tourism trends, cross-border travel, and the cost of fuel.
  • BC Ferries will be spending  $3 billion in equipment and upgrades over the next 12 years. 
  • Two new ferries are currently being built in Romania:  They will be Hybrids, not diesel powered.
  • Five new ferries are being launched between 2016 and 2018,  several of them with Salish names and authentic Salish artwork.

Report by Steph Smith

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