Raising taxes is the fairest way, not more tolls

When the Golden Ears toll bridge opened, I found a lot more drivers were using the Mission Bridge.

Editor, The News:

It is unfortunate that the self-interests of the mayors of Metro Vancouver have voted not to put tolls on all bridges instead of just the Port Mann.  This would have been a fair way to use tolls.

I live in east Maple Ridge and use the Mission bridge.

When the Golden Ears toll bridge opened, I found a lot more drivers were using the Mission Bridge. Those who choose to use the Mission Bridge created a lot more traffic and, in the effort to avoid a small toll, many drivers surely paid a lot more in gas and time.

People are not rational.

Experts can show that it is more cost effective to go over a toll bridge, but the emotional barrier of paying a toll dominates all other considerations.

The HST is an example of emotional barrier dominating what was a logical cheaper tax system. We are now facing less money for schools and hospitals to pay for the added tax system and loss of $1.7 billion.

That money could have paid for more than half the cost of the new Port Mann Bridge.

When the tolls are on the Port Mann Bridge, drivers will spend a lot more taking more costly routes. The Alex Fraser Bridge will have long line ups. Many will likely even use the cheaper tolled Golden Ears Bridge.

Drivers will just go where they can avoid tolls at any cost.

They will take their anger to the polls – which is why the self-interested group of Metro mayors voted against all bridge tolls.  Now only those politicians in toll areas will suffer.

Hear that Kevin Falcon?

The best way to pay for new infrastructure is raising the gas price even more so that all drivers pay evenly and it would even help the environment by encouraging gas-saving cars.

In reality, the overall best way is to increase income tax so that everyone who profits the most from the improved economy due to improved infrastructure pays fairly.  This way the low-income earner who can only afford a house in the suburbs and must commute pays less of the burden.

Dan Banov

Maple Ridge