Faster, safer, cheaper?

The Confederation Bridge is running an ad right now in which the tag line is “Faster, Safer, Cheaper.”

I can understand the faster part. Although even there, if you’re going to Antigonish, NS, you’ll do better on the ferry if you time things right (MapQuest says it takes 3:51 to drive to Antigonish from Charlottetown via the bridge, and 1:47 via the ferry. Add on the 75 minute ferry ride, and you still get only 3:03).

The cheaper part is certainly true in terms of absolute dollars out of pocket: the ferry is $49 for a carload while the bridge is $37.75. The ferry website makes a case that you save $32 in vehicle operating expenses by not driving the 100km that you save, but I think that’s a stretch, and not of much consolation when you have to fork over the extra $11.25 at the booth.

But safer? This I had to know more about. I phoned the Bridge’s handy toll-free information line and asked about the safer part. I said “safer than what?” They said “than the ferry.” I said “the ferry is dangerous?” They said “well, there’s more rocking back and forth.” This didn’t seem convincing.

Whether to Bridge people can prove that the Bridge is safer than the ferry seems irrelevant: it doesn’t exactly seem like fair ball to suggest that people are going to become hurt or killed by using your competition. Even if it is true, it certainly isn’t honourable.


Alan's picture
Alan on August 7, 2002 - 16:30 Permalink

I actually have an uncle who is retired from a massive international construction co which put in a bid. When visting here, he drove over it he pointed out a number of ways that the impending bridge deaths may occur. A head to head 18 wheeler v. Festiva bounce over the side was the most alarming. Why are the sides so low? At least there are life preserver jackets on the ferry…