To the Expositor:
Before we publicly hang the OSTC (Owen Sound Transportation Company) executive out to dry, remember it is a government organization. They may be highly restricted as to what initiatives they may implement without legislative authority, which may take years to accomplish.
This traveller does see room for improvement though.
Spring and fall ferry trips should be reduced to only one round trip daily, the first trip departing the Island in the late morning giving travellers ample daylight hours to continue on from Tobermory. The ferry should then depart Tobermory in the late afternoon giving travellers plenty of time to reach Tobermory without having to leave in the early morning to make even the 1:30 pm departure.
Discounts should not be given to electric, hybrid or low emission vehicles as they should be the ones using the highway. The larger less efficient vehicles are the ones that need to be on the ferry and their owners should be encouraged to do so.
Island businesses that rely on ferry traffic should mention in all printed off-Island advertising the ferry service and include a link to the OSTC website on their Internet advertising.
Should discontinuing the ferry service become a reality, perhaps the Friends of the Norisle will become friendly with the Chi-Cheemaun and operate it. They would have the benefit of a turnkey operation, established route, customer base and a vessel not needing millions of dollars in refit to make it useful. The ferry service would ultimately be controlled and managed by Island interests.
In the years I have been using the Chi-Cheemaun the cost has increased approximately 25 percent, while my cost to use Highway 69 has not. Highway 69 has become the better option, in terms of cost and the luxury of travelling on my own schedule. The OSTC needs to provide a real benefit to attract users, something within its own control. A private operator would be burdened by government control and oversight, it could make operational changes at will and as customers need change.Ronald Kay Brampton and Assiginack