A tale of woe about GE Bridge tolls

Letter writer and university student Sarah Johnston-Watson owes $2,500 in toll fees

Editor, The News:

When the Golden Ears Bridge first opened, I thought it was a blessing to have a connection to Langley, a fast and easy way to connect with the No. 1 Highway and make my way to Abbotsford to my school, the University of the Fraser Valley.

After a year of school, no bill was mailed or emailed to me, but I owed $2,500 just in toll fees.

Now, as a student, busy as can be, and stressed already, I get dumped with a heart-stopping bill. How is that fair?

I already have to take out loans to pay for my bare needs –  food and shelter, not to mention the high cost of gas and driving to Abbotsford and back each week.

The only other option is for me to take the Mission way, which is an extra 30 kilometres. In the long run, I am saving money by going the long way. The extra gas costs about $4-$5 opposed to a $6 toll fee and the headache of dealing with 200th Street traffic.

I think the tolls should be taken away completely. Our government is in huge amounts of debt and demanding toll money, to pay for the bridge.

But Maple Ridge residents had not say in it.

Now the government wants to toll the Port Mann Bridge?

Does the government have the right to take away our freedoms and do whatever it wants?

I feel so outraged, but also trapped. I have no choice. That is not freedom. That is dictation. There should be a vote and the people should have a say in what they deem fair and affordable.

All that will happen is the rich will get richer and the poor, poorer. I am on the poor side, as a student, and I do not like my outcome.

I hope that my small opinion can make a difference and that maybe tolls will cease to exist – in a perfect world.

Sarah Johnston-Watson

Maple Ridge