Golden Ears Bridge…a Fiscal DI$A$TER ?!?.
I was “chaffeur” the other day to take some family members to Maple Ridge to visit my nephew and his wife….
We took the Golden Ears Bridge.
You simply drive over it….no stopping….and they take a photo of you license plate and bill you by mail.
Yes……it is a nice drive and an interesting route….and does perhaps save some time as opposed to other options.
However, we went around NOON on Sunday….and one would think there would be a reasonable amount of traffic.
No, in fact it was D-E-A-D….you could play soccer or road hockey etc. on the bridge…….this TOLLED bridge was seriously short of paying customers.
The pathetic thing is….this was a P3 project….which implies that the Private Sector was in a Joint Venture with the Province. The Private Sector is not a charity….
The Gov’t “promotes” these P3’s as a means to save taxpayer dollars aka “spread the risk around”.
However…..what they often don’t mention is that there is really NO RISK….to the Private Sector..they are guaranteed a revenue NO MATTER WHAT. If the anticipated revenue( ie from TOLLS) falls short…the GENERAL TAXPAYERS cover this deficit.
The cost ONE WAY for a ” car ” is $4.10 ( unless you are signed up for more frequent use ) . So ….a round way trip costs $8.20 in “after tax” dollars. It is much more for larger sized vehicles(graduating scale).
As the economy declines I can see less use of the bridge…..hence TransLink will gouge the rest of us to make up the difference.
The P3 model may work in good economic times….ie the project is actually patronized by the paying public.
However I see the Golden Ears bridge as a Flop…but one in which UNaccountable Translink will simply raise its cut of property taxes etc. to make up for a project the BC Citizens had no say in in the first place.
This is simply another one of numerous para$ite$ the Gov’t shamelessly and arrogantly allows and imposes into and onto our ever-shrinking wallets .