B.C. government to eliminate tolls on two Vancouver-area bridges

By The Canadian Press
August 25, 2017 - 11:08am

PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. — British Columbia's NDP government is eliminating tolls on two Vancouver-area bridges, effective Sept. 1.

Premier John Horgan says the tolls are unfair as others across the province who use public infrastructure like highways to commute to work aren't hit with special charges.

The tolls are being eliminated on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges in time for the Labour Day weekend.

Horgan says the move will save an average commuter $1,500 a year and commercial drivers crossing a bridge at once a day at least $4,500.

About 121,00 vehicles a day use the Port Mann Bridge connecting Coquitlam and Surrey, and about 40,000 use the Golden Ears between Surrey and the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge area.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver, whose party is supporting the minority NDP government in the legislature, called the decision "reckless" because it will add bridge debt to the province, leaving less to spend on social programs.

Both bridges are still in the red, years after being built. This year's provincial budget projected the Port Mann Bridge would lose $88 million in 2016-17 and $90 million in 2017-18. The Golden Ears Bridge lost $45.2 million in 2015.

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