To the Editor,
Re: Ferries float forward with cash infusion, May 12.
The B.C. taxpayers are now on the hook for the expenditure of $80 million front money, to the ferry corporation.
This money is a similar amount estimated by the government that would be required to build the bridge connector to Gabriola Island.
If, instead of propping up a losing ferry system, a bridge connector replaced the ferry service, the cost of replacing the ferry with a fixed cost 100-year lifespan bridge would be far less than keeping the existing ferry service.
In the past year, we have had major repairs to the waiting room and then for nearly another million, a brand new waiting room.
We also had the debacle of the loading ramp collapse under a truck for a further major cost.
Just recently the entire on-land sewage connection to the waiting room had to be redone at an unknown cost, but it has to be high because these projects are expensive.
All these expenses, on top of the regular $1 million in cost overruns, add up to an expensive waste of a failing transportation system.
How long before the present ferry wears out and has to be replaced for – guess how much? – $30 million?
It is time for a fresh new look at transportation options for the service to Gabriola Island.
The government is still threatening us with service cuts and increased fares on top of the annual $5 million we spend on ferry fares.