11

Owner of Harsens Island ferry threatens shutdown over rate increase

Posted by $ splumb 6 years, 1 month ago to Business
35 comments | Share | Flag

Yet again, the State of Michigan is sticking its nose into this poor guy's business.
Maybe it's time he shrugged, as he's again forced to threaten to.
SOURCE URL: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/05/15/harsens-island-ferry-shutdown/27357925/


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 1 month ago
    When my kids were small, I took them on the Harsen's Island Ferry as an experience I thought they'd like. It's a rickety but fun experience. Huge freighters majestically plow along as you cross the lake. Once we got there we unpacked a lunch and finished in time to take the ferry back. Like any government controlled project, the guy who operates it is inevitably going to get screwed. That's the way fascism works.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years ago
    Under the Carriers by Water Act, Champion's is a regulated entity under the jurisdiction of the commission.

    Being regulated doesn't mean the idiots can dictate how or what he does with his business. If the state wants to have a ferry, they cannot tell a private company they cannot do anything, take on debt or even up and fold.

    More moronic government dictates to individuals thet "you have to..." Guess what Michigan: I don't think so. What if the dude falls over dead? Are you going to forbid that too? Moronic imbeciles.
    If they want a state regulated ferry, go buy a boat and start one, don't steal someone else's.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by tkstone 6 years, 1 month ago
    I am going to take a different slant. It appears the state has granted him a monopoly. Hasn't he benefited from their muscle. I am having a hard time feeling sorry for him. Open competition would be the answer. When one deals with the government one must take the good with the bad.....or is that the bad with the bad?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ Thoritsu 6 years, 1 month ago
      Tend to agree if you are right re-monopoly. Although, having been granted the monopoly, he should still be allowed to shrug, and walk away with whatever is his property.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by evlwhtguy 6 years ago
      Quite possibly the level of investment required to enter the business initially made making it a manopoly essential to success. The state probably didnt want to raise the money themselves so sought soneone to do it initially. A faustian bargin was then made. So you do have a good point. However I lay a dollar to a donught that the state has changed the requirements and regulations that the vendor faces over the years and has caused the job to be unprofitable for him..
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ jlc 6 years ago
        Point for faustian bargain. And I think you may have picked out the main theme from the tangle of elements. (Knowing what the 'story' is helps me a lot in figuring out what to do next.) Perhaps you should be the reporter for the account of this incident.

        Jan
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years ago
      What if the situation can only support one ferry? That doesn't make it a monopoly, just a situation where only one business can survive. I did not see enough informations such as traffic numbers, number of affected people etc. Just a bunch of claims and counter claims. But I did see reference to dictates from the state that "Champion can't do this or that". It's his business. It would be like ordering Greyhound to service Podunk, Michigan, Pop 6 because they have to. Tanstaffle......
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by strugatsky 6 years ago
      If he were to give an appropriate bribe, ah, strike that, I meant political contribution, to the right people, then the government would allow his monopoly to be profitable. Apparently, he didn't. A monopoly is not a guarantee of profitability. If you are slave of a cheap master, I doubt that it would be a profitable experience.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 6 years ago
    Hello splumb,
    I am familiar with the Island and the surrounding waters. There are less than 1200 residents now and quite a few of the houses are occupied on a seasonal basis. I do not believe two ferry services could survive. The licensing, regulation, cost of the ferry and maintenance costs to enter the market would be prohibitive for someone to compete. If someone did, only one business would win out and survive or both would fold considering the amount of regular traffic. If the current owner wishes to raise his prices too much then a competitor might have a shot. Unfortunately this situation is being influenced by the power of pull. There are some deep pockets with interest on the Island and also some without the same resources that band together to twist the arms of regulators. The state is strapped for cash. The residents wouldn't approve a recent ballot proposal to increase taxes to fix the dilapidated roads because they are already heavily burdened and feel the money is never spent efficaciously. The state won't build a bridge or take over the ferry service from the owner and justly compensate him. They want to appease the Harsens island constituency who want their service on someone else's dime while the government micromanages the owners operation and makes him jump through hoops for the fees they see fit. The property owners on the Island should join together, purchase the operation and/or build a bridge at their own expense. Let the owner retire or operate as he sees fit. Instead, our State, that can't even fix the potholes or contribute to the newly planned Detroit-Windsor bridge thinks they should practice fascism ... Nothing more intrusive or inefficient than big government.
    Respectfully,
    O.A.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by rbunce 6 years, 1 month ago
    I actually rode the Harsen's Island Ferry a couple times back in the 60s. It was a company guest house and they had a row boat to get to the actual house property which was a small island. Great Lakes Freighters would pass close by in the shipping channel and dwarf the good sized house.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by term2 6 years ago
    If it were me, I would get out of this controlled business quietly. And on my last day I would either sell all my assets and move out of the country, but if that was forbidden I would do a "francisco" and blow up the boat and all the assets they wanted to take, and escape out of the country and never come back
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by term2 6 years ago
    If the service is really needed, AND there were loyal customers, perhaps it could be a private subscription ferry with access only by membership in a society. Keep the per trip rate as the government mandates, but access is guaranteed by a monthly subscription fee with a card. Similar to MDVIP.com with doctors, or membership in Costco or Sams club.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo