Golden Ears Bridge tolls to rise 5 cents

Annual increase to cross bridge over Fraser River between Surrey and Langley is pegged to inflation

It will cost an extra nickel for most drivers to cross the Golden Ears Bridge.

Tolls levied by TransLink there go up each year automatically for inflation, and the five-cent increase this year takes effect July 15.

Regular vehicles will pay $3.15 if they are registered with TReO tag or QuickPass transponder, while those not registered will pay $4.40.

The toll increases are based on the 1.3 per cent increase in annual inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, which was lower than the two per cent increase TransLink had anticipated in its budget.

Increases are as high as 15 cents for unregistered large trucks, while registered motorcycle tolls are unchanged.

TransLink collected $48.4 million in tolls at the Golden Ears last year. That was $7.3 million or nearly 18 per cent more than it budgeted, because of higher-than-expected traffic over the bridge.

The bridge recorded 12.7 million crossings in 2015, up from 11.7 million in 2014.

More gas tax also flowed to TransLink last year.

The nearly $357 million collected from the 17-cent-a-litre tax at the pumps in Metro Vancouver was 6.3 per cent higher than expected. TransLink said the increase is due to more vehicles being driven in the region, and because the weak Canadian dollar and lower fuel prices have resulted in fewer Metro residents crossing the U.S. border to fill up.

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