VICTORIA — Coastal travellers can expect fares with BC Ferries to remain steady as the company reports it has experienced a surplus for the second year in a row.
BC Ferries says in a release issued Friday that consolidated net earnings for 2017 is $77.4 million, up from $69.5 million the year prior.
The company is attributing the earnings to a 2.9 per cent increase in vehicle traffic and 1.7 per cent increase in passenger traffic compared with 2016.
CEO Mark Collins says the strong financial performance will help renew the ferry fleet, pay down debt and reduce the need for future loans.
He says the ferry network will need a new ship about every year for the next 12 years, at an average cost of $70 million.
Although more traffic meant higher operating costs, Collins says the newly introduced Salish Class natural gas-fuelled vessels are less costly to run and two more vessels will be converted later this year.
"We are well on our way to building a standardized, interoperable fleet which will reduce costs, improve our environmental footprint and further increase safety," Collins said in a news release.