The toll to cross the Port Mann Bridge is going up by 15-cents for passenger vehicles, pickups and SUV’s, as of August 15th, bringing it to $3.15 per crossing.
For big rigs the increase is 45 cents, to $9.45 each way.
Monthly pass holders will still be able to benefit from an unlimited monthly pass over the Port Mann Bridge. New rates will be as follows:
- $80 / month for a motorcycle
- $155 / month for a small vehicle
- $315 / month for a medium vehicle
TI Corporation is the provincial Crown corporation that built and runs the bridge, and CEO Irene Kerr says the increase is needed to keep it on track to meet its financial obligations, and the benefits of the bridge are still immense.
“…drivers do appreciate using the Port Mann Bridge for the travel time savings. If you use the bridge twice a day you can save up to about 40 minutes, and five days a week that’s more than three hours- and drivers absolutely appreciate getting three hours back into their schedule.”
Kerr says the rate change allows them to stay on track to pay the bridge off by 2050, but hasn’t said much revenue this rate change will bring in next year.
TI says there are about 100,000 crossings a day, and so far this year traffic is 5% higher than in 2014.
Not everyone reacted so positively to the increase:
Could traffic congestion get worse in New Westminster, now that tolls are going up on the Port Mann Bridge?
The Mayor of New Westminster worries traffic congestion could get even worse in his city, as tolls rise on the Port Mann Bridge… Jonathan Cote, says it’s happened before.
“New Westminster has faced significant increase in traffic since the tolls have been in place, and I think any time you raise the price in that, that gives a further signal for people to try and avoid the tolls. I think it just highlights the problem with our hap hazard tolling system where you’ve got some bridges tolled very high, and then free alternatives a few kilometers down the road.”
He says the bottom line is, drivers don’t like tolls.
“The big fear I have is that we continue to make this problem about investing billions of dollars building huge and probably over built bridges that are going to continue to bleed money, and lose lots of money in our region, when we would be better off investing our money in public transit.”
Cote wants to see a regional tolling structure, and thinks TI Corp. should reduce tolls on the Port Mann during non-peak hours.