Major Ferry Rate Increase

The fact that EUPTA needs more funds to operate the Ferry System at its present level of employee pay and benefits is a fact. It is the method of raising these funds that should be considered very carefully by the customers of the System (US).

The Executive Director has said at many meetings, we cannot continue to lose money operating the ferries. He has come up with the methods, listed in the Evening news article below, of creating more revenue on his own. There has been no input from the directors on the matter, as evidenced by the minutes of the last two years. Please go to EUPTA meeting minutes on this site to see for yourself.

Please review the meeting attendance records of both the residents from each Island and the EUPTA Directors from each Island. All the directors’ names that attend or miss a meeting are on the front of each months meeting minutes, and the resident or customer names that attend these meetings are on the last page of each monthly meeting.

 I believe the Press Release is carefully timed and worded to prevent argument and does not come close to what is really about to happen in the % of increase no matter which of the three methods is decided on. I further believe that the abuse of the word “Commuter” in EUPTA’s referral to commuter tickets has gone on for a very long time.

com-mut-er     (k-myootr) n. One that travels regularly from one place to another, as from suburb to city and back.

I ask, is a person who only makes one trip in 9 days a commuter, or would “Tourist / Visitor” become closer to a proper description of the person.

I feel that if commuter tickets where returned to 30 or even 45 days no increase would be needed as visitors would be paying their fair share to “VISIT” the Island. If you live in the Sault do you commonly say I am going to “COMMUTE” to Sugar Island and see my loved one or friend, no, you say I am going to Sugar Island  to “Visit” my friend or loved one.

I know of a summer time resident who purchased a book of Semi Truck tickets for his very expensive motor home, then made a very loud complaint to EUPTA 2 years later because the deckhand would not honor a 2 year old book. He went to EUPTA and did get a free ride. Did we the everyday users pay for this guy?

People keep going to EUPTA and pitching a case for a smaller fare (pickup owners with dual wheels for example) and keep getting a reduced fare because no one (our appointed EUPTA directors) supports the Executive director or even the deckhand that tries to enforce the policy already in place.

Our original commuter tickets came in books of 7 with a cover. The price for the book was 7 times the normal fare. The commuter discount came in when the purchaser saved 5 covers up and turned them in for a free book, thus creating a discount. Little changes to this method of discounting where made to discounting tickets over the years. Every one of these discount method changes either changed the time a book of tickets was good for or increased the number of trips. On several occasions, BOTH where done. We have gone from a book life of 30 days to 180 days. Add 90 more days and you can father a baby into this world.

To my way of thinking, when EUPTA holds the meeting at Kinross and if only a few residents show up to it, it will be a clear indication to EUPTA that the normal users of the Ferry Service want to subsidize fares for visitors to Sugar Island.

I think any such subsidizing should be done by the individual enjoying the visit!

If you don’t show up at the meeting, you don’t care, if you don’t care, pay the fare and don’t complain. Its that simple.

Phone Numbers to call;

EUPTA  906-632-2898

John Kibble 906-635-1783

Jesse Knoll

Sugar Island Resident

 

 

SAULT STE. MARIE

EUPTA proposes

fare increase

By SCOTT BRAND sbrdndCasooevenncnews.com

SAULT STE. MARIE – Virtually all users of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (F.UPTA) ferry services – connecting Drummond, Neebish and Sugar islands to the mainland – will be look­ing at a minimum 10 percent increase in the near future.

“We’ve been running at a deficit for the last four years, said EUPTA’s Chuck Moser regarding the need for an increase.”We feel we need to raise about $200,000 a year; our job is to make sure we raise the proper amount of fares in a fair way.

EUPTA Finance Director Akemi Gordon explained there are currently three options on the table.

• Option 1 would continue to utilize commuter tickets in books of 10 and 20. This is the current system, allowing those who travel frequently to the islands to essentially save money by purchasing in bulk.

• Option 2 would eliminate the 10 trip ticket package, requiring commuters to purchase 20 tickets at a time if they wished to get the discount.

• Option 3 would essentially split the difference – eliminating both the 10 and 20 ticket packages in favor of a lone commuter package for 15 trips.

While most commuters are faring a hike of 10 percent or so in all three scenarios, those who travel to the island for the occasional visit, tourists and over-sized vehicles are faring even larger increases.

The full cash fare is going up even more than 10 percent,” said Gordon. Each classification will be a different percent.’

Predicting that customers particularly island residents will have opinions on the pro­posed increases, Moser said there will be multiple formats for them to express themselves before a final decision is made.

“The thing is we want to get people engaged,” he said. “We’re willing to lis­ten to constructive ways to skin the cat.

EUPTA will be holding a public hearing at the Kinross Township Hall at 4 p.m. May 1 on this matter and Moser encourages all interested parties to attend.

The Kinross Township Hall, he, explained, was selected because it should be large enough to hold all who wish to participate and because it is centrally located.

Those who are unable to attend, but wish to record their comments, can mail them to EUPTA, Public Hearing Comments, 4001 1-75 Business Spur, Sault Ste. Marie, 49783.

Gordon said the easiest way to explain the increase was to prepare everyone for a minimum increase of 10 percent. Dollar figures, she noted, were difficult to explain because fares are set differently for each island, vehicle classifica­tion and commuter situa­tion.

Gordon said that indi­viduals interested in their specific case can call the EUPTA Office at (906) 632-2898 for more infor­mation.

The EUPTA Board of Directors could take action on the potential increases as early as the May 5 ses­sion, scheduled for 4 p.m. at the EUPTA Office in the Sault.

If implemented the increased rates could be charged before the end of May.

 

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