VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC Ferries is calling its Coast Saver promotion a disappointment.

The June program offered riders up to 37 per cent in savings. However, it didn’t even lead to small increase in ridership.

Compared to last June, the corporation saw a 6.5 per cent dip in passengers and a three per cent drop in vehicle traffic.

Deb Marshall with BC Ferries tells us there are two explanations for this drop.

“We had the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs and that did drive [away] a lot of traffic. Also, this year with the teachers job action, we actually saw a 33 per cent reduction in student travel on our major routes,” she explains.

Marshall points out tourism numbers are down across the board, not just at BC Ferries. Still, she says it’s always a concern when promotions don’t work.

“It is disappointing,” she admits. “We do hear from our customers that they feel the ferry fares are high, and here we just offered a 37 per cent discount and it doesn’t appear to have driven any incremental traffic.”

This is the latest of a series of bad news to hit BC Ferries. The corporation is facing a $16.5 million net loss this year. It’s also recording a 13-year low in vehicle traffic and a 21-year low in passengers.