"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fare or unfare?

"The Williams Government," we learned yesterday, "has made a significant step in delivering on its Blueprint promise to reduce provincial ferry rates and bring them in line with the cost of highway travel."

Willliams Government gave the following example:

St. Barbe-Blanc Sablon, (vehicle-plus driver, return), reduced by $17.50 from $68.00 to $50.50
And Williams Government expressed a hope — hope really does spring eternal:

"We are hopeful that the Government of Canada will look at what our province is doing to make rates more equitable and reasonable for travelers, and apply it to the way in which they manage and apply rates to Marine Atlantic."
To which Stephen Harper should promptly reply to Williams Government: "done!"

The new Strait of Belle Isle tariff of $50.50 for a return trip by car and driver works out to $1.34 per nautical mile, or $0.72 per kilometre for a one-way trip.

Marine Atlantic's two remaining services, connecting Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, are both cheaper for the distance. For the same car and driver in the example above, the Port aux Basques run is, at current rates, $0.59 per kilometer, and the Argentia run, $0.46 per kilometre, again, one-way.

In fact, of all the major auto ferries in Canada, only the three Sir Robert Bond routes (Goose Bay-Lewisporte, Lewisporte-Cartwright, Cartwright-Goose Bay), and one off-peak Vancouver Island discount fare, are cheaper, for the distance, than the Marine Atlantic Argentia run. One other off-peak Vancouver Island discount fare, and off-peak fare for the Souris ferry to the Magdalen Islands, are the only other ones cheaper, for the distance, than the Port aux Basques run.

Marine Atlantic is, per nautical mile, cheaper than every other major Canadian. Cheaper than all of BC Ferries Vancouver Island and coastal services. Cheaper than all of the St. Lawrence River ferries, public and private. Cheaper than the Magdalen Islands runs, and the various services which connect Maine and the Maritimes.

And the Confederation Bridge? $1.57 per kilometre for half a return trip.


At 10:50 AM, March 14, 2007 , Blogger Brian said...

According to the new rates it would cost .90 cents a NM to ship a car from Rigolet to Postville. The passenger rate would be in the .16 cents a NM range bringing the total for car and one person to 1.06 a NM
Then of course you have the berth and meals on top of that. Then of course you would be on different vessels which would add to the cost or at least add to the inconvenience.

Strange the new rates do not include the main freight or passenger points to and from Nain. We pointed this out to some WST people last evening, “that is still being worked on and may take some months” was the reply.

At 11:24 AM, March 14, 2007 , Blogger WJM said...

$1.06 before the cost of a berth would still be cheaper than Tsawwassen/Swartz Bay, Rimouski/Forestville, Powell River/Comox, Digby/Saint John, Wood Islands/Caribou, Rivière-du-Loup/Saint-Siméon, the Confederation Bridge, Port Hardy/Bella Coola, or the now-defunct Trois-Pistoles/Les Escoumins run. However, I deliberately excluded the coastal Labrador service, for the reasons you (indirectly) point out: it's not a car ferry service comparable to the others.


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