VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC Ferries says it’s trying to save all the money it can after a tough year, but passengers should be prepared for more service cuts.

Fuel prices are up and ridership is down, save for a bump this month, possibly due the recent nice weather we’ve been having.

Speaking at BC Ferries‘ annual general meeting today, CEO Mike Corrigan tells us the corporation is doing what it can to contain costs, but service cuts on some routes are a real possibility. He says people should be ready for service cuts “where it makes sense.”

“We’re going to talk to the communities to decide what the service levels are going to look like. Our job as Ferries is to run… it as safely and efficiently as we can. Governments will expect a decent service level, so you’d have to ask them that question because they’re going to go out and consult over the next six weeks on this,” says Corrigan.

“[If the ferry's half-full,] we’re still going to sail. That is our average capacity… We’re talking about times of day when there’s virtually nobody on the ship. We do have times when we sail that we have more crew than passengers or in fact, we have no passengers,” he adds.

The net earnings are up about $3 million compared to this time last year. But net earnings overall are still down. The company has already made cuts to weekend sailings between Tsawwassen and Duke Point this October.

Meanwhile, local ferry community leaders say the province should view ferries as an investment in people and the economy, not just an expense to cut.