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BC Ferries search for contractors to run routes sinks

The latest attempt by B.C. Ferry Services Inc. to contract out routes has finished without finding a company to take over the service.

The Coastal Ferry Act, made law by the B.C. Liberal government in 2003, requires B.C. Ferries to seek “alternative service providers” who can provide safe, reliable and quality service, possibly at a lower cost, on routes now served by the publicly owned private company.

In August, 2008, B.C. Ferries released a Request for Expressions of Interest for companies to run ferry routes between Campbell River and Quadra Island, Quadra and Cortes Islands and Port McNeill, Sointula and Alert Bay.

“No respondent to the RFEOI has elected to proceed to the next phase and the process for seeking ASPs for these routes is, therefore, now complete,” B.C. Ferries vice president and corporate secretary Cynthia Lukaitis wrote in a January 26 letter to ferry commissioner Martin Crilly. Crilly is responsible for regulating ferry operators and to “encourage” the contracting out of routes.

“BC Ferries will continue to be the provider of service on these routes,” wrote Lukaitis.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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