Every three months BC Ferries must report to the Commission the actual average level of fares paid by its customers, reporting a single figure for each of the four route groups. The figure is a weighted average for all the routes in the group, combining all the different traffic types (e.g. passengers, autos, trucks, buses), the different times of the week (weekend vs. midweek), the different peak / shoulder / off peak fares charged in that quarter, and other variables. This is a complex calculation and the Commission directs BC Ferries on the raw data, formulas and assumptions that it must use.
BC Ferries can restructure the fares within a route group (e.g. offering special discounts, charging premiums, making package offers). It is the weighted average of all these fares for a given route group that matters for the purposes of regulation.
The price cap for each group is computed by the Commission and is a maximum permitted level of average ferry fares for each route group.
Click here to see how average fares compare to price caps by route for the latest quarter available.