In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Crossover the Bridge
File this under, no good deed goes unpunished. The kind-hearted folks who run the Big Mac were sympathetic to motorists who live on one side of the Mackinac bridge and work on the other. It was costing them 6 bucks a day to make the back and forth trek or just over $1,400 a year. A new commuter rate was installed reducing the daily crossing to $1.70 each way and while that worked for motorists, the state loss a quarter of a million dollars on the deal because other drivers abused the system: They bought the commuter cards but did not make daily trips. 4,900 from Oakland County purchased the cheaper passes, but only 30% used it everyday. Put more unkindly, 3,400 "crooks" from the country ripped off the state. < /span>But they had plenty of company. Bridge officials found the same thing going on in Elkhart, Indiana, St. Louis, Mo, Sarasota, Florida, and Humboldt, California, wherever that's at. Drivers used the daily pass to make 700 trips across the bridge but it's a safe bet they did not turnaround and head home on the same day. Well $250,000 is $250,000 and the authority is now considering one way to stop the drain. When the crossing fee goes from $3.00 to $3.50 next January, you can purchase a card for that amount and if you return the same day, the fee is ten-cents. If you use it days later, you get socked the $3.50. Here's another option: If the outlaws in other states try to scam the system, when they use the pass to go into the Upper Peninsula, the state should block them from using the bridge to get home. A week or two wandering around in the desolate U.P. where the deer and the buffalo roam should cure them of their criminal behavior.