A Surrey man with a permanent disability says he’s being discriminated against when it comes to exemptions on TREO bridge tolls, because he doesn’t drive a car.
“I don’t know why they’re like that. But there is no good reason.”
Dave Kennett says he needs to cross the Fraser River about three times a week on his 300cc scooter.
He’s got disability papers that prove he can’t work, but says when he applied for TREO’s exemption he was told he didn’t qualify.
“We only allow small cars. We disallow all motorcycles… disabled people that apply with motorcycles or scooters. Can I ask why? And she goes ‘I don’t know.'”
Kennett says being on disability, he lives on an extremely tight budget and the bridge tolls are adding up.
“Well you get $906 dollars. So $9 is one percent, so you’re looking at a a half percentage every time you go there and back. It stresses my budget quite a bit because once I’ve paid for gas and everything else I only have about $300 left every month.”
He says it’s even worse now that the Pattullo is out of action, and he has no choice but to take the Port Mann to get in and out of Surrey.
TREO offers toll exemptions to persons with disabilities, along with emergency vehicles, transit vehicles, taxis, and certified carpool vehicles.
The company says this is the first time someone with a scooter or motorbike has applied for the exemption.
It says for the time being, motorcycles and scooters will remain barred from the exemption, but that it’s looking at the rules as a part of a broader policy review.
T.I. spokesperson Greg Johnson says it will also be reaching out to Kennett to offer him an interim exemption while the policy is looked at.