Golden Ears Bridge tolls going up

Those with a transponder will have their fares increase by a dime, each time, from $2.80 to $2.90

Tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge are going up next week.

Tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge are going up next week.

You know that extra penny per litre of gasoline you’re paying on the carbon tax as of July 1?

And the extra two cents you’ll be paying next spring when TransLink raises its tax to pay for Evergreen line SkyTrain line?

Well, there’s one more hike to deal with.

Effective July 15, TransLink is raising the tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge.

For motorists who don’t have transponders in their cars, the toll will jump from $3.95 per crossing to $4.10.

Those with a transponder will have their fares increase by a dime, each time, from $2.80 to $2.90.

Registered video fares will go from $3.35 to $3.45.

According to TransLink, the increase covers the rise in the consumer price index of 3.5 per cent.

The increase is steepest for large trucks. Transponder fares will climb from $8.40 to $8.70 a crossing and from $9.55 to $9.85 for trucks without transponders.

The tolls pay for building, operating, maintaining and future rehabilitation of the bridge.

The increase follows a TransLink experiment in May, when fares were discounted by 30 per cent on weekends and evenings to see if traffic patterns would change.

It’s too soon to make any conclusions, Hardie said, but it will be interesting to see if toll discounts can affect traffic use.

“We don’t have the final word on that yet.”

Information from that will help in managing the bridge, as well as future road toll pricing.

The current daily average number of vehicles crossing the bridge is still about 25,000, below projections of 40,000 a day.

What should make a difference is the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge in 2012. It will also have tolls, meaning motorists will have to pay either way.

Hardie said vehicle transponders for the Golden Ears Bridge can be used on the Port Mann, but eventually the shift could be to using the tolling technology for the Port Mann on both bridges.

Most of the noise dampening efforts for the expansion joints on the Golden Ears have been completed, he added.