Pay for things you use, including bridge tolls

It may cost $6 for the toll and to spend $5 for gas going over the Mission bridge does not make it cheaper.

Editor, The News:

Re: A tale of woe about GE Bridge tolls (Letters, May 11).

Reading about how Sarah Johnston-Watson was faced with a $2,500 toll bill, I did not shed a tear.

The puzzling story would be how did she manage to avoid paying a toll.  She certainly was aware of the toll and seems to think that if she was able to avoid the bill for a year, it should be paid by others.

Her judgement of what is fair is a little self-serving.

Ms. Johnston-Watson is certainly not a business student.

It may cost $6 for the toll and to spend $5 for gas going over the Mission bridge does not make it cheaper.

Car depreciation and time have a cost.

The bridge was built to give a cheaper cost to get across the river.

The Port Mann Bridge is being build to offer a cheaper way of crossing the river.

The toll pays for that benefit and should be paid by those who benefit.

The bridge saves people a lot of money in many ways and it is fair that those who benefit most pay for these benefits.

Some of the benefits of the Port Mann Bridge to those in Surrey:

•gas and depreciation of car because you have a half hour or more less idling time;

•three or four hours a week extra time – if commuting by bus or car;

• economy is better for everyone with better transportation system;

• house prices will be worth more in Surrey and beyond due to better access.

All students need to understand fairness, that you need to pay for things you use. That is true freedom.

You can vote on what is fair by choosing to use the bridge or not.

A dictatorship is where everyone pays for use of bridge even when not using it.

Dan Banov

Maple Ridge


Be accurate

Editor, The News:

Re: A tale of woe about GE Bridge tolls (Letters, May 11).

I am responding to the letter from Sarah Johnson-Watson about Golden Ears Bridge tolls.

I am not taking any position about these tolls, but am questioning some of her statements.

• “Take the Mission way, which is an extra 30 kilometres.” The directions given at the web site for Fraser Valley College quote a distance of 39.27 kilometres via Mission versus 44.24 kilometres over the bridge.

As you move west from the centre of Maple Ridge, these figures change until from Pitt Meadows, the distances are 42 kilometres over the bridge and nearly 47 via Mission.

How do these figures equal an extra 30 kilometres?

• The bill for a year of crossings is quoted as $2,500. Using the quoted $6 cost (which is for the return trip) of tolls, this equals 416 days when, in fact, a college year would be between 250 and 275 days per year.

• “No bill was mailed to me.” Did she expect to be exempt from the tolls? Why did she not phone to ask why there was no bill?

I have travelled to Abbotsford by both routes.

I too question why that bridge is tolled, but not the Mission Bridge or the Pitt River Bridge or any of the Vancouver bridges other than the new Port Mann.

But arguments against the tolls should use accurate, verifiable facts.

Christopher Saunders

Maple Ridge

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