Gas prices drop, ferry fuel charges won’t

B.C. Ferries won't be lifting a 3.5 per cent fuel surcharge despite dropping oil prices.

B.C. Ferries won’t be lifting a 3.5 per cent fuel surcharge despite dropping oil prices.

The additional ferry charge came into effect in January due to fuel costs and according to Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries’ spokeswoman, car and truck fuel is different from the fuel used by ferries.

“One’s got to appreciate that while the price of gas at the pump has dropped, we haven’t seen the same corresponding decrease in local diesel fuel prices – it’s actually a different product that we buy,” Marshall said to the News Bulletin.

“We’ve got fuel deferral accounts to help with the volatility of fuel prices and currently, we’ve got approximately $3 million as a balance in [that] account, so we need to pay that down before we could reduce or eliminate the fuel surcharges,” Marshall said.

She said B.C. Ferries is monitoring the situation and if the price of diesel drops and the deferral account balance continues to decrease, the surcharge may be eliminated or cut in the not-too-distant future, adding she didn’t have a timeline.

“The balance is definitely coming down in the fuel deferral account but it just needs to come down further, as well as the price (of fuel),” Marshall said.

reporter@nanaimobulletin.com