01/17/2014 02:18 EST | Updated 03/19/2014 05:59 EDT

BC Ferries hikes fares 3.5% starting today

A 3.5% fare hike on most BC Ferries routes that was announced earlier this month came into effect this morning.

The ferry company says the fuel surcharge is necessary to cover the rising cost of diesel fuel. It will apply to all routes with the exception of the Port Hardy—Prince Rupert route and the Prince Rupert—Haida Gwaii route.

When the hike was announced in early January, CEO Mike Corrigan said every one cent increase in the price of a litre of fuel translates into a $1.2 million increase in company expenses.

While BC Ferries has reduced its fuel consumption by 5.8 million litres since 2004, the cost of fuel in 2013 was $121 million, up from $50 million in 2004. 

All pricing on BC Ferries is regulated by the independent B.C. Ferries Commission.

The previous fuel surchargewas removed from all BC Ferries route in November 2012.