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Driver found errors on 23 Golden Ears Bridge crossings

If the cameras can’t read a license plate, they will guess. - The News/files
If the cameras can’t read a license plate, they will guess.
— image credit: The News/files

Check your Golden Ears Bridge toll billings, as there could be mistakes.

Greg McNally was doing his taxes, looking for receipts, and in the process of reviewing his bridge tolls found 23 mistaken billings from the past six months.

“One of the dates I had a charge for I was actually in the hospital,” said McNally.

Being a two-car family, nobody else drives McNally’s vehicle, so it was easy to find the errors.

“I use the Golden Ears Bridge very infrequently, for family visits,” the Coquitlam resident explained. “I might use it 10 times per year.”

The good news is, he took his complaint to Quickpass, and they were able to confirm the contested billings were not his vehicle.

Quickpass, which operates the toll system on behalf of TransLink, reversed $69 in charges.

He was told that the licence plate reading system used for billing will make a best guess when a plate is partially obscured.

So McNally was being regularly billed for someone else’s unreadable plate.

“I could see a pattern of crossings, and it was not our pattern,” he said.

He went back as far as Nov. 20 online, but beyond that there is no detailed online information for his account.

So, McNally is left with a nagging suspicion that he may have paid for someone else’s Golden Ears crossings earlier than six months ago.

“I was surprised, more than annoyed, because I thought the system was fail-safe,” he said.

“It’s electronic, state-of-the-art, digitally records everything, and it must be right.”

Now he keeps a log book in his vehicle, and is recording the dates and times of all of his toll bridge crossings over the Golden Ears and Port Mann Bridges.

TransLink spokesperson Jiana Ling conceded that the plate reading technology can make mistakes, but they are rare.

“That [23 mistakes in six months] is definitely excessive, and not the norm.”

Ling said Quickpass has people to monitor the system, and will make corrections.

“Let Quickpass know, and we’ll try to do our best. These are machines, and that’s why we have people to help customers in these situations,” she said.

“Quickpass will ensure a customer is billed accurately.”

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