11/25/2011 03:07 EST | Updated 01/25/2012 05:12 EST

BC Ferries raises fuel surcharge on main routes

BC Ferries is hiking its fuel surcharges on several routes on Dec. 12, the corporation announced on Friday morning.

The charge will rise from 2.5 per cent to five per cent of the fare on the three major routes connecting Metro Vancouver and the Island. That translates into $2.35 cents for a one-way vehicle crossing between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen.

And for the first time, the Horseshoe Bay to Langdale route will have a 2.5 per cent fuel surcharge.

The increase is to cover the rising cost of fuel, according to the corporation.

The corporation says over the past eight years it has cut its fuel consumption by five per cent, but rising costs have pushed its annual fuel bill up from $45.9 million in 2003 to over $120 million this year.

BC Ferries added fuel surcharges in 2008, but gave customers a fuel rebate when fuel prices fell in 2009, and 2010.