The BC Ferries has reported a first-quarter net loss of $62 million dollars as they deal with significant impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison, the company reported net earnings of $12.2 million over the same period in 2019. The decrease in revenue was partially offset by reductions in operating expenses of $36.7 million compared to 2019’s first quarter. As a result of travel restrictions and a significant drop in ridership, BC Ferries cut down its service on many of its sailing routes. At the onset of the pandemic ridership reduced by 75 to 80 per cent in a matter of days.
The organization has also announced that they will be adding 769 sailings above contract on its minor and northern routes, with the new schedule matching pre-COVID-19 service levels. These extra sailings seek to benefit many coastal communities while also serving the interests of the general public.
Effective August 24, BC Ferries passengers will be required to wear face masks at all times while aboard a ferry and when inside a ferry terminal. Previously, passengers were only required to wear a face covering when in a situation where it was difficult to maintain physical distancing.