Quebec entrepreneur Christian Assad is using his wealth, and access to helicopters, to simultaneously help the Montreal public and bleed them dry. Owner of Heli-pro, a helicopter training and service operation based in Quebec, Assad is offering drivers and commuters the chance to bypass the traffic clogging the Champlain bridge via helicopter. Helicopter trips started last Friday, just before the bridge was closed for repairs over the weekend, offered at $99 per person, one way.
If you want to fly over the traffic hell of the Champlain, helicopter shuttles are offered six times a day, from both sides of the Champlain. In total, the trip takes about 8 minutes, with taxi times from the drop off point to final destination adding in some minutes, depending on city traffic and such. Compared to the hour(s) of traffic it takes to get across the congested and literally falling apart bridge, helicopters seem like a solid idea.
But are people really going to fork out a hundred bucks for one ten minute trip across a bridge? Wealthy business folk, that's who. Assad has already transported a few lawers and business types who don't have the time to waste in traffic, because time is money. Given the state of the Champlain, with frequent cracks and lane closures, I wouldn't be surprised if the safety-conscious start doling out the dough for a safer way to work.
To us normal, non-wealthy/helicopter-owning folks, Assad's helicopter service seems a little steep. Assad could probably charge a lot less for these trips and help out us commoners, but why would he? When you can charge business people and layers obscene amounts of money, who cares about the little guy? The rich capitalizing on public problems to get richer. The system works.