Tolls to cross the Golden Ears Bridge would be capped as of Jan. 1

‘Costs of removing tolls from Metro bridges in party platform’

'What’s happening now is, people are choosing to use non-tolled bridges.'

The NDP wants to scrap tolls on the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges, but hasn’t yet explained how to make up for the revenue loss.

NDP leader John Horgan made the announcement Sunday after the Liberals promised to cap toll charges to motorists at $500 a year.

Scrapping the tolls completely would cost TransLink at least $48 million a year. That’s the amount raised by Golden Ears Bridge tolls in 2015 and is used to help pay for financing and upkeep.

In 2016, the Port Mann Bridge hauled in $136 million from tolls, which wasn’t enough to cover borrowing and operating costs.

The Liberals though say removing the tolls from both bridges would cost the government $30 million a year. The party says both bridges bring in $200 million a year in tolls.

Quickpass administers the tolling system for the Golden Ears Bridge. its contract runs until and 2018. Last year, 2016, TransLink paid just more than $7 million to Quickpass for its service.

A TransLink spokesperson said it’s now doing a comprehensive review trying to estimate the impact of tolling changes.

Bob D’Eith, running for the NDP in Maple Ridge-Mission, said an explanation of the costs will be in the party platform, coming out soon.

“What’s happening now is, people are choosing to use non-tolled bridges, which is actually creating more congestion on the bridges that are not tolled,” he added.

Questions such as the cost of paying out the tolling contractor or removing tolling technology still need to be worked out, D’Eith said.

The NDP has always opposed public-private-partnerships, such as the Golden Ears Bridge.

“We have the Sea to Sky Highway, which has no tolls. And you have the Port Mann and the Golden Ears, which have tolls, so how is that fair?”

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read supported the idea. She said on Facebook that “it will mean thousands of dollars in savings for Maple Ridge families.

“People are avoiding the Golden Ears Bridge anyway because of the tolls. This will reduce congestion on the Mary Hill Bypass and that will be most welcome.”

She added the revenue shortfall could be made up by cutting the new Massey Bridge or the new Site C dam being built by B.C. Hydro.

The weekend also saw the Liberals announce a $500 yearly cap on toll charges for bridge users.

Liberal candidate Marc Dalton said his party has costed out that and would reimburse TransLink for the revenue shortage.

 

Just Posted

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

Man accused of shooting at border agents loses final bid to appeal extradition order

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford following cross-border manhunt in 2013

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Bears will be flying as Giants get set for Teddy Bear Toss

Stuffed animals will be collected at Langley Events Centre, distributed through Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau

Busker turned away by North Delta Superstore

Nathaniel Postma’s petition aims to bring awareness to “discrimination and oppression” buskers face

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Update: Small fire near Maple Ridge tent city

Occurred outside camp Wednesday night

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Military life gives way to chance as author

Retired Chilliwack officer pens book about life in Afghanistan

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Most Read