One option for toll bridges

Port Mann and the Golden Ears Bridge will be billed together.

Daily crossings on the Golden Ears Bridge have increased this year.

Daily crossings on the Golden Ears Bridge have increased this year.

Drivers crossing the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges will soon have only one bill to worry about.

Beginning Sept. 1, the one-billing system issued by TReO will be put into place.

Those who use the system will be able to identify billed trips easily because each trip will be identified by which bridge was crossed and when, explained Greg Johnson, Transportation Investment Corporation community and media relations manager.

He also said, since the Port Mann bridge toll was established in Dec.  2012,  a plan was in the works to simplify the billing process.

“The plan was always to have the two [billing] systems work together.”

Drivers who do not register with TReO and maintain their QuickPass Golden Ears account can continue to pay this account separately.

If they choose this option, the only way to get the lowest Golden Ears toll rate, which is currently at $3.05 for passenger cars, is to keep their transponders.

Currently those crossing in passenger cars without transponders pay $3.60.

Registered TReO users get a free plastic decal that works for both bridges and guarantees them the lowest rate, which for a passenger car crossing the Port Mann Bridge is $3.

As each bridge is managed by different authorities, they will both continue to have different toll rates, vehicle classifications and promotions.

Although traffic growth for the Golden Ears bridge has been reported in the past as being too low to hit TransLink’s targets, TransLink’s 2014 base plan indicates it started to increase this year by approximately three per cent.

The expectation is this will continue in future years.

The average daily crossing for the Golden Ears Bridge in 2013 was 30,100.

So far this year, that total has increased by 1,000 vehicles.

Golden Ears Bridge revenues collected last year totalled $39,421,000.