Letter: No fan of new Chi-Cheeman parking fees

Frequent travellers will be following the Highway 69/400 corridor to avoid the new fees

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an open letter to the Owen Sound Transportation Company and has been reprinted here at the author’s request.

 Dear Ms. Johnson,

 I am writing today to formally complain about the upcoming implementation of parking fees for overnight and multi-day parking at the Tobermory and South Baymouth ferry terminal parking lots. I am a frequent traveller on the Chi-Cheemaun averaging about 30 crossings a season. I typically have two other people with me in the off-season and up to four other people with me during the peak season. 

 With the proposed implementation of the parking fee I will no longer be using the Chi-Cheemaun, which after 15 years of being a consistent traveler on the ferry, is very unfortunate. I find this decision to implement a parking fee to be very short-sighted and targeted at your most loyal and frequent travellers. This is not the way to treat a customer, who in my case is generating revenue close to $2,000 a season with myself and others who travel with me. Multiply that by the 20 or 30 other frequent travellers and it will be well short of the money you generate by charging for parking. Luckily the 400/69 corridor has continued to expand and I, along with many other frequent travellers, will be choosing to travel this more direct and convenient route than paying an outrageous fee to leave a vehicle in Tobermory and South Bay. As you noted in your strategic business plan, the expansion of this highway is a threat—and one that senior management is propagating through this decision. 

 The parking lot was full this past long weekend and into overflow. If you are counting on that continuing with your implementation of an egregious parking fee I wish management all the best. I know from conversations with other frequent travellers on the Chi-Cheemaun that they too will be travelling by car up the 400/69 corridor rather than paying this ridiculous parking fee. Incidentally, your own staff at both locations and on the ferry are also against this change, but have resolved that management does not know what it is doing.

 Sincerely,

 Chris Brown

 Ayr and Little Current