It seems more drivers were willing to pay the toll to cross the Golden Ears Bridge last year.
But the news isn’t all good for TransLink, which is budgeting for a $5-million tolling equipment upgrade in just it’s sixth year.
In their 2016 Business Plan and Operating and Capital Budget, TransLink reported a 15 per cent increase in bridge tolls for the first nine months of 2015.
They’re forecasting a $48.7-million collection in Golden Ears tolls for the whole year, which is up about $5.2-million more than originally budgeted.
They’re also estimating a growth of 4.1 per cent in the new year.
But while the toll numbers are positive, there are problems beginning to show.
The bridge’s tolling equipment is slated for a $5-million dollar upgrade, citing “obsolescence and end of service life”, despite the fact the bridge itself is only six and a half years old.
TransLink has since filed a response:
In 2016 TransLink will be concluding an assessment of technology assets at the Golden Ears Bridge, and a $5m budget had been set aside to ensure that technology assets are replaced as necessary. Technology assets include video cameras, equipment that detects vehicle size, computer servers and associated equipment used in electronic toll collection.
Such equipment has a typical service life of 5 years. Through good proactive maintenance, most of this equipment will have served close to 7 years by the time it is replaced. Technology asset replacement is a normal part of any technology-dependent project, and TransLink had anticipated this expense and budgeted for it. TransLink will continue to monitor the condition of its technology assets and budget for replacements as necessary to ensure efficient operations.