But as I made my way to Wood Islands I noticed the winds picking-up and when I checked in at the Terminal.I found out the evening crossing had been cancelled. The winds were now almost at gale force out on the Northumberland Strait.
How long in advance do they cancel these runs? Is there a way to check before you leave Charlottetown?
I checked the recorded info line before I left Charlottetown and the 6:15 crossing was still a go. In the 50 minutes it took me to drive to Wood Islands.....the ferry had left the Caribou side and due to wind and sea conditions out on the Strait.....the Captain cancelled any further crossings that evening.
Good point....it would seem more logical (to my way of thinking)...that one would pay to get to an island, (albeit an entire province), and have the return to the mainland, free...
Unless the businesses believe that paying first to get there, would discourage some from going...
I think that the psychology of it has a lot to do with it. PEI must surely rely a lot on tourism dollars, and if you've already paid $45 or $75 on the way over, you might have less money in your pocket to burn once you get there (figuratively speaking, of course, since most people are using credit cards anyhow).
OTOH, people fly to Vegas/Orlando/Paris etc, spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get there, but don't seem to have any problem dropping many hundreds or thousands more once they arrive. So it's a matter of perspective, I guess.
But the current "pay as you leave" system reminds me of "Hotel California."
"You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! (unless you have $45)"
Never really thought much about it. I guess it might be a bit more palatable for tourists if they saw $37. 50 (ferry) or $22.50 (bridge)....but they are still paying the same amount round trip (and most tourists are probably making a round trip).....and the tolls are per vehicle so the more you can stuff-in the cheaper it is!
It's been like this for years......round-trip tolling. The bridge and ferry operators save by not having to maintain infrastructure and pay wages to toll collectors on both sides of the Strait.
Most Islanders and other Maritimers accept the Bridge Toll as it's based on the fare that was charged by the Marine Atlantic Ferries that the bridge replaced in 1997 + an annual increase based on inflation since then. (Youve got to pay for a billion dollar bridge some how!)
The rates may seem high but if the ferries were still operating the rate would probably be a lot higher now if you include fuel surcharges.....which thankfully you dont pay to cross the bridge in your own vehicle.
And now you cross on YOUR schedule......no more leaving the beach early on a hot summer Sunday afternoon just to sit in a ferry line-up for hours, inching your way forward so you can get home to Moncton or Halifax that evening.....and those line-up could be long in a hot car!.....Or sometimes in winter: waiting for ice and wind conditions to improve so the ferry could get across.
Edited by NS VIA Fan, 13 November 2015 - 05:10 PM.