– Tolls don’t deter drivers from using Golden Ears Bridge

Vancouver Sun

By Kelly Sinoski

METRO VANCOUVER – Tolls aren’t stopping people from crossing the Golden Ears Bridge. TransLink said in its first month of tolling — from July 16 to Aug. 15 — some 621,000 vehicles used the bridge between Langley and Maple Ridge.

While the figure is half the 1.2 million vehicles that crossed the bridge in its first toll-free month, TransLink spokesman Drew Snider said the number is still higher than expected, translating to an average of 21,000 cars a day.

About 88.5 per cent of the vehicles crossing the bridge during that time were classified as cars; small trucks accounted for 7.5 per cent and large trucks and motorcycles made up two per cent each of the total.

About 31 per cent of those had transponders. Some 25,000 vehicles have been registered for the devices, which offer drivers a discount on tolls.

Snider said the retention rate comparing the traffic prior to tolling and afterwards is about 55 per cent, higher than the 45 per cent that had been projected. But he said it’s still to early to determine a trend for the bridge, noting TransLink will have a better idea of the Golden Ears commute once people head back to school and work after the Labour Day weekend.

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