We deserve continued use of one Albion ferry

TransLink admits that, on average, it subsidizes 48 per cent of the operational costs for buses.

Editor, The News:

I obviously disagree with Mr. Andrup’s statement that my support for the Albion ferry was based upon some “romantic” ideas.

Contrary to his and others dislike for the service for whatever reason, my support has always been based upon economic reasons and a desire for fairness from TransLink.

TransLink admits that, on average, it subsidizes 48 per cent of the operational costs for buses.

Many community bus routes require subsidies of  $5 per passenger.

It recently admitted that the Golden Ears Bridge will require a subsidy of more than $60 million this year –  10 times the operational cost of the free ferry service.

My business plan for one ferry would have required a five cent per passenger subsidy, under the worst case scenario.

At 80 per cent capacity, it required no operational subsidy at all.

No other system in Translink could boast this, but still TransLink refused to even consider a trial period.

Three members of the existing council and all past councilors have sat back and allowed TransLink to ring tens of millions of dollars annually from Maple Ridge residents, over three times as much as our neighbors in Pitt Meadows pay, and all we get is an additional couple of commuter bus routes.

We deserve the continued service of one ferry.

TransLink did nothing when hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on the south side approaches to the Golden Ears Bridge, while we got little.

It was well aware that completing Abernethy Way to 232 Street could have been requested, but we were satisfied with just getting a bridge.

Maple Ridge should have demanded a trial service of the ferry to test the needs for the residents in eastern Maple Ridge.

But like so many other things, our needs seem secondary.

The west got the bridge, that is all that was important.

The giving away of the ferries for less than what Maple Ridge spends annually on traffic calming is a travesty that will haunt us in the future.

Graham Mowatt

Maple Ridge