Toll changes eyed for trucks on Port Mann Bridge

Could breaks urged to shift big rigs off Pattullo Bridge work for Golden Ears?

The province is thinking of tinkering with trucking tolls on the Port Mann Bridge – so why not the Golden Ears Bridge, as well?

Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters likes the idea, providing fare changes are part of a coordinated effort for all of Metro Vancouver.

“I don’t have a problem with them lowering tolls, but I think it has to be on all bridges,” Walters said Wednesday.

Changing the rates on one bridge will push traffic somewhere else.

“Let’s look at the entire region, look at fair tolling and make it fair for all bridges and all truck drivers.”

The Ministry of Transportation said last week it’s considering lowering truck tolls to encourage truckers to use the new Port Mann and take pressure off the aging Pattulo Bridge.

One tactic could be a monthly pass for truckers, giving them unlimited use of the bridge, for the price of 50 regular trips. Another option is to reduce tolls during late evenings or early mornings, or change vehicle classifications.

Large trucks using the Port Mann Bridge now pay $9 for each crossing. The toll for large trucks on the Golden Ears Bridge is $8.95.

New Westminster councillors have called for lower Port Mann tolls for trucks for the same reason.

Walters said bridge and road tolls are a frustrating topic for Metro Vancouver mayors.

“It’s just an ongoing discussion that we have. You just can’t go and do these things without looking at the entire structure.”

Adjusting Golden Ears tolls is worth looking at, but Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin pointed out that TransLink has already tried that in a pilot program.

“There wasn’t a lot of uptake on the Golden Ears … I’m not sure why.”

Daykin, though, reiterated, if the bridge was 70 or 80 per cent of capacity shortly after opening, “it was probably under-built.”

And moderate bridge tolls should be considered for the entire region, he added.

But in return for region-wide bridge tolls, taxpayers should also get a reduced TransLink property tax or reduced gasoline taxes.

Max Logan, director of the province’s Transportation Investment Corp. that oversees the Port Mann, says truck traffic has jumped 25 per cent in its first year of operation.

Golden Ears Bridge numbers continue to lag behind expectations.

Average daily crossings in 2012 for the Golden Ears Bridge were 29,500, below original projections from a decade ago of 33,000 to 61,000.

– with files from Black Press

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows Gun Club negotiating with neighbours

Hours of shooting, special events and lead management on the table

Being Young: A prescription for wellness

‘People drawn to animals because we are social creatures.’

Suspicious vehicle fire closes Harris Rd.

An Air One helicopter was circling the scene.

B.C. Ferries cancels Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen sailings over propulsion problem

11:00 ferry now good to go, but lines anticipated

MacDuff’s Call: Potential for deadly outcomes

Council passes Wildlife and Vector Control Bylaw.

Mad Hatters ‘celebrate’ mental illness

Event Saturday in Maple Ridge.

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Most Read