Re: Port Mann Bridge tolling.
I’m not sure who the bigger morons are, the politicians or the sheep that elect them?
Tolling the Port Mann Bridge or any Lower Mainland bridge is counter-productive. If they had not tolled the Golden Ears Bridge, there might not be a need for a new Port Mann Bridge. Tolling the Port Mann Bridge will only put more stress on alternative crossings.
Furthermore, if they need the funds to pay for the new Port Mann Bridge, just add a few pennies to the gas prices in the Lower Mainland, including Abbotsford, and remove the tolls from the Golden Ears Bridge and let’s just move on with it. Why do we need to create more infrastructure and costs with transponders, mailings, account receivables, etc.?
Oh I forgot, the elected morons prefer complicating life in order to create issues with which they can confuse the morons who elected them.
Penalized by location
Other Lower Mainlanders who oppose tolls on the Sea-to-Sky Highway and Burrard Inlet crossings would like us to believe that their infrastructures have always been completely paid off through tolls. This is not true.
Tolls paid on the Lions Gate Bridge up to 1965 do not count because it was owned privately by the Guinness family. When the province bought the bridge in 1965, it removed the tolls. Hence, not a single cent of the purchase price was paid for by vehicle tolls. When the bridge was completely upgraded with new decks in 2001-02, no tolls were imposed. When the Sea-to-Sky Highway was built, no tolls were imposed but everyone, including south-of-Fraser residents, are paying for it through a “shadow toll” based on the number of vehicles using it.
Tolls on other bridges and crossings were collected for only a few years after opening in most cases, so one cannot claim they were fully paid for by tolls. All Lower Mainland tolls, except for the Queensborough Bridge, were removed in 1963. No crossing can be paid off in a few years through tolls. It is arguable that the Pattullo may have been fully paid for by tolls from 1937 to 1963, The Port Mann and the Alex Fraser bridges are the only modern crossings that never had tolls.
Regardless, the facts are that residents living south of the Fraser have always paid the most in tolls. With the new Port Mann Bridge and new Pattullo Bridge, they will continue to pay more in tolls unless fairer means of financing infrastructure are found.
That means all taxpayers in Metro Vancouver should share the burden of transportation infrastructure. Taxpayers should not be penalized according to where they live.
T. Suzuki, Delta