Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, March 26, 2010

Under The "B" For Bridge

Bingo, now I know how to explain the traffic machinations involving the DRIC bridge.

I have always felt that some people still do not understand why the issue about traffic volumes and the DRIC Bridge is so important.

After all, supposedly the need for the DRIC Bridge arose because traffic was going to double. Even now when traffic is at the 1999 level, or worse, Transport Canada can still say with a straight face:
  • "Butler said the Canadian government is committed to the building a new bridge to provide additional capacity for an anticipated growth in border traffic."

You see, in order to survive financially, even with traffic doubling, the DRIC bridge would have to take a ton of Bridge Company car and truck traffic and that of the Tunnel and the Blue Water Bridge. The DRIC experts said that after all.

Presumably if traffic did not double or, if the Bridge Company, whose tolls would be lower, competed ferociously for traffic, either the DRIC Bridge would go broke or the other crossings would have financial difficulties if the DRIC Bridge was subsidized.

I thought this was an easy concept to grasp. But I think I was wrong. People should not feel too bad if they are having problems with this because even the CEO of Chrysler does not understand it. You would think he would understand numbers and what lack of numbers can do to a bottom line:

  • "DRIC received an endorsement earlier this week from Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, when he spoke to about 500 industry representatives at a dinner Monday in Michigan hosted in part by the Canadian Automotive Parts and Manufacturing Association.

    "The North American automobile industry and hundreds of thousands of employees in vehicle assembly and parts production depend on the smooth flow of just-in-time deliveries across this critical border gateway," he said. "Chrysler strongly supports the partnership between the governments of Michigan and Ontario, as well as Canada and the United States, as they work toward securing a new gateway at Detroit-Windsor."

Fortunately, the Bingo hall issue made the "traffic issue" simple for people to grasp.

As the Star story points out, just read how the proposed new Bingo Hall and the existing Bingo Halls will be fighting over a reduced number of bingo players--traffic--to understand the concept of how all of the Bingo Halls and the users could face serious problems. Apply it to DRIC and you will be much wiser:

  • "A group of charity bingo advocates will approach council Monday to open a non-profit bingo hall on the city's east end in what they are calling a last-gasp effort to rescue dozens of local charities on the edge of financial failure.

    The group wants to reopen the shuttered Hollywood Bingo hall at 3975 Wyandotte St. E. on the corner of George Avenue. The hall closed in 2006 under consolidation of the local bingo industry.

    Bingos were hit hard in Windsor by the proliferation of casino gambling, loss of U.S. customers through border restrictions and finally no-smoking legislation in 2006.

    There were once about a dozen local halls, but now there are only four owned by a single operator — the Poirier family of Poirier Electric.

    The operator of the remaining bingo halls — and some charities which profit from them — are fighting the move, claiming there is not enough room in the industry to support another bingo hall...

    Long-time charity bingo advocate David (Red) Wilson, who used to be president of the charity operations at the former Hollywood Bingo, is leading the effort to reopen the facility. He believes dozens of local charities will be better served under the non-profit hall.

    "There is no alternative plan for us," he said. "This is our opportunity...

    But the concept has supporters of the existing bingo halls furious and fearful the competition will drain away what little profits are being generated for both the Poiriers and roughly 75 charities those halls support.

    "The first 100 customers pay the overhead," said Phil Haddad, president of Charities of Classic Bingo IV located at Market Square on Walker Road. "The other 20 customers are the profit. We can't lose one person because that represents profit.

    "For us, this is deadly. If you don't make money, the charities have to put in more money if there is a negative pool."

    Should the new hall open, Haddad predicts everyone will lose.

    "Even the ones going to that hall will have a difficult time," he said. "If we were all turning people away and there was a need for another business, I'd say good luck to them. But that's not the case.

    "If you have another bingo hall you add free market competition and we will be fighting each other. You don't want that fight. Windsor's charities will lose as a result

And in another story, it was put more bluntly

  • "Backers of a proposed non-profit bingo hall on the city’s east end say it is a last-gasp attempt to rescue dozens of local charities from the brink of financial failure.

    But opponents say the move would only “cannibalize” the city’s fragile bingo industry, and everyone will lose."

See what I mean: one for-profit existing operator, huge drop in players because of the economy, new non-profit wants to open a competing hall supposedly for the public good, it would divert traffic, both operators might not have the numbers to be profitable. The result "everyone will lose" including users when traffic is "cannibalized."

Under the "O" for Ooooooooooooo do you get it now!