Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: Better ways to get ship shape

An open letter to a survey on the BC Ferries service.

I just completed a survey that asked if I had used the BC Ferries to a list of destinations in the last three months.

The answer was “none of the above.”

You ought to be asking if I ever travel by ferry to anywhere. The answer is very infrequently, perhaps twice in 10 years.

My wife and I were residing in Prince George four years ago, and ferries to there via the Fraser River are nonexistent. Now back in the Lower Mainland, we were looking forward to travelling by ferry for free, but that has been denied now.

We are in our 70s, so very much doubt ferry travel will be on our agenda now you have made it harder for us to afford to travel.

You should be asking the folks who have a need to use ferries what they think about the cuts and increased fares.

Have you considered that cutting service and raising the price of fares reduces the number passengers, and that your revenues will suffer still further?

The number of tourists will also decline. Communities will shrink when residents and businesses move away.

Years ago, I was a retail store manager and, when I took over the position, I discovered the business was steadily losing money and in a few years would fail. I looked over the business and saw immediately that it was poorly laid out.

With the help of the employees, that was soon changed. The staff woke up and began taking a greater interest in what they were doing.

I looked at the cost of doing business and searched for ways to improve efficiency.

I did not reduce service or the staffing level; in fact, more staff were employed at seasonably busy times.

I took a searching look at the price we charged for our products and services. After reducing operating costs by 0.5 per cent and raising gross profits by 0.5 per cent, one year later we were back in the black, running – dare I use the simile – a happy ship with a busy and enthusiastic crew.

Anyway, I very much doubt anyone will pay any attention to my opinion, so I don’t know why I bother giving one.

Reg Sutton, Surrey



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