We all look forward to the completion of the Highway 1 improvement project, including the new and improved Port Mann Bridge.
What we need – to go along with this project – is some new and improved fairness.
Contrary to the beliefs of some politicians, Surrey, Langley and beyond are actually part of the Lower Mainland. We are not a separate region. We breathe the same air and pay the same gas taxes.
However, we are about to receive what may be the largest new tax levy in British Columbia history. The Port Mann tolls are on the way.
This is not a new bridge to a new area, like the Golden Ears Bridge or like the Lion’s Gate Bridge was many years ago. This is a bridge replacing a bridge that has been in use for nearly 50 years.
We, living to the east of the bridge, have been elected to pay tolls. For many average families that commute to work and have many other involvements to the west of the bridge, these tolls will easily be over $2,000 per year.
Where is the equitableness in all this?
Think of all the other recent highway improvement projects in B.C., the wonderful Sea to Sky Highway for instance. Does anyone have a toll to pay to sample its delights?
The bottom line is that $6 for a return trip is too much for those who live in close proximity to the bridge and use it daily.
We need a more equitable arrangement, perhaps an annual pass system.
We need better planning and a little mercy from our government.
It is not too late to reduce this onerous pending taxation. We need those representing us, to represent us.
I am not hearing any support from the multiple BC Liberal and NDP MLAs whose ridings are east of the bridge. This is a major financial issue that needs be better planned and rethought to make this equitable.
J. R. McLeod