Archive for the ‘Vancouver Bridges’ category

– Tolls an unfair tax on suburbs

September 22, 2009

The Province


Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and other local luminaries seem to be embracing the idea of tolling roads in our region, such as the Sea-to-Sky Highway, as a means of raising money for public transit.

But we should all resist such a tempting cash grab, which unfairly taxes people for living in the suburbs.

As Transportation Minister Shirley Bond points out, the B.C. government’s policy is to use road tolls only when a “reasonable, non-tolled alternative” route is unavailable. It’s a wise policy.

You could, of course, argue that the new Port Mann bridge is to be tolled, without a reasonable alternative. But at least the Pattullo Bridge offers some relief.

There is no real alternative for those driving to and from Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.

It’s easy, of course, for City of Vancouver residents such as Robertson to argue for road tolls. They’re fortunate to have reasonably good public transit, including the new Canada Line.

Folks in the ‘burbs are not so blessed. They don’t have any real alternative to the motor car. And they deserve better than to have their pockets constantly picked by opportunistic politicians.

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– Sea-to-Sky toll pitched by Vancouver mayor

September 19, 2009

The Province

By Damian Inwood

Toll gates should be placed on the Sea-to-Sky Highway to help raise money for regional transit, says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“I do think it’s a good idea,” he said Thursday.

“People raised it initially, that all the investment in that highway should be offset by tolling, as is being done in many places in the world.”

And Robertson said he also supports tolls on all the major Fraser River bridges to raise the extra $450 million TransLink needs for expansion.

“The new Golden Ears Bridge has a toll, so, if we look at other bridges around the region and what can be raised there, and we look at the Sea-to-Sky [Highway], I think there are opportunities,” he added.

Robertson made the comments after a speech to the Downtown Vancouver Association.


– Opponents call Knight Street Bridge toll a ‘cash grab’

September 18, 2009


VANCOUVER — The B.C. Trucking Association says a proposal to toll certain bridges, including the Knight Street Bridge between Vancouver and Richmond, would further burden the industry with little benefit in return.

Tolls on the bridge could be instituted as part of a new revenue-generating plan known as “road pricing,” which was included in last month’s report by the Regional Transportation Commissioner on TransLink’s 2010 10-year plan.

BCTA president Paul Landry told local media that unlike the tolled Golden Ears Bridge, which cuts routing time and saves them time and money, TransLink’s plan to make drivers and truckers pay to use the Knight Street Bridge is little more than a cash grab for the public transit-minded transportation agency.

A handful of Lower Mainland councillors also don’t like the idea of road pricing. Coun. Derek Dang of Richmond said the idea is of “grave concern.”

Translink says critics are “jumping the gun,” as there is no specific plan to toll the bridge right now.

– New bridge pulling in a million a month

September 16, 2009

Maple Ridge News
By Phil Melnychuk

More people are northbound on the Golden Ears Bridge than drive south to Langley, according to numbers from TransLink.

With tolls now in force for almost two months, stats are showing the traffic trends for the $808-million structure after fees were applied in mid-July.

For residents or businesses worried about customers fleeing the north side of the Fraser River for Langley shopping malls, the numbers indicate otherwise.


Glitch overcharges Golden Ears Bridge passholders

September 9, 2009

CBC News

Some commuters crossing the Golden Ears Bridge claim they are paying more than they should because the automated tolling system is mistakenly overcharging some drivers.

Rick Cluff, host of The Early Edition, CBC Radio’s Metro Vancouver morning show, told TransLink spokesman Drew Snider Tuesday that the electronic system appears to be having difficulty reading licence plates in the dark.

“We’re hearing from some regular commuters on that bridge, claiming they’re being overcharged with the Quickpass program because when it’s dark outside, the cameras can’t read the licence plate properly, and they’re charged full price and not the discount price,” said Cluff.