Premier Hor­gan elim­i­nat­ing bridge tolls, mak­ing life more af­ford­able

The Miracle - - Politics -

Driv­ers in the Lower Main­land soon will be pay­ing less to get around as the Bri­tish Columbia gov­ern­ment is elim­i­nat­ing tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges in time for the Labour Day Week­end, Premier John Hor­gan an­nounced to­day. “We’re tak­ing im­me­di­ate ac­tion to make life more af­ford­able and get peo­ple mov­ing by scrap­ping un­fair tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges,” said Premier Hor­gan. “This is just one of many steps we’ll be tak­ing in the com­ing weeks and months to make life eas­ier for fam­i­lies through­out Bri­tish Columbia.” To­day’s an­nounce­ment – which will take ef­fect on Fri­day, Sept. 1 – de­liv­ers on the premier’s com­mit­ment to put an end to the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment’s bridge tolls. It will save fam­i­lies who reg­u­larly have to cross the Fraser River an av­er­age $1,500 a year. Com­mer­cial driv­ers av­er­ag­ing one cross­ing a day will save $4,500 a year or more. Each day, ap­prox­i­mately 121,000 ve­hi­cles cross the Port Mann Bridge, with an­other 40,000 ve­hi­cles tak­ing the Golden Ears Bridge. In ad­di­tion to the costs borne by com­muters, the tolls in­creased con­ges­tion along other trans­porta­tion cor­ri­dors. “Many peo­ple have been trav­el­ling out of their way to avoid tolls be­cause they sim­ply can­not af­ford them,” said Premier Hor­gan. “Get­ting rid of tolls will shorten com­mute times and clear up other routes, so peo­ple can spend less time stuck in traf­fic and more time with their fam­i­lies.” Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter Claire Trevena says the gov­ern­ment will con- tinue to in­vest in the roads, bridges and other trans­porta­tion projects Bri­tish Columbians need to help peo­ple get around – with­out un­fairly hit­ting some fam­i­lies and busi­nesses with tolls. “Un­like the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, we’re not go­ing to pit one re­gion of the prov­ince against the other,” said Trevena. “We’re go­ing to de­liver on the in­vest­ments needed to serve fam­i­lies and grow our econ­omy, across B.C. in a way that is fair for all fam­i­lies.” “We have worked very closely with TransLink and the May­ors’ Coun­cil to de­liver an agree­ment on Golden Ears that of­fers re­lief for fam­i­lies,” said Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and Hous­ing Min­is­ter Selina Robin­son. “The toll re­moval on the Port Mann Bridge and the Golden Ears Bridge will make life more af­ford­able for driv­ers who cross th­ese bridges every day, and it will help im­prove traf­fic flow on other bridges.” Cur­rently, the toll to cross the Port Mann is $3.15 for cars, pickup trucks and SUVs, $6.30 for medium-sized ve­hi­cles, e.g., a car with a trailer or a mo­torhome, and $9.45 for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. The toll to cross the Golden Ears is $3.20 to $4.45 for cars, pickup trucks and SUVs, $6.35 to $7.55 for medium-sized ve­hi­cles, and $9.45 to $10.70 for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. Bills for tolls up to and in­clud­ing Thurs­day, Aug. 31, 2017, will still need to be paid. The process for bill pay­ment will re­main in place dur­ing the tran­si­tion. The tolling for both bridges will stop at mid­night on Aug. 31, 2017.

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