Tolls to cross the Port Mann Bridge are going up to $3.15.

Port Mann Bridge tolls rise to $3.15 per crossing

15-cent increase from $3 for most vehicles is first toll hike since new bridge opened, more than 5-cent hike at Golden Ears

Tolls are rising 15 cents to $3.15 per crossing to use the Port Mann Bridge.

The province’s Transportation Investment Corp. said the increase from $3 for small vehicles effective Aug. 15 is required to keep up with the costs of operating and maintaining the Port Mann/Highway 1 improvement project and repaying the debt.

The bridge opened in late 2012 with a one-year half-price discount for users that signed onto the TReO electronic payment system early enough.

Tolls had not been raised since then.

“There will be nominal increases from time to time,” TI Corp. CEO Irene Kerr said.

TransLink also raised the toll on the Golden Ears Bridge earlier this summer, but the increase there was not as much – five cents to $3.05 per crossing.

The Port Mann increase comes after a revised TI Corp. financial outlook made public earlier this year showed annual operating losses had climbed above $100 million per year because the number of drivers using the bridge and the resulting toll revenue has not met original forecasts.

But Kerr rejected suggestions that was a driver of this summer’s toll hike.

“We’re right on track for meeting our financial obligations and paying back the debt,” Kerr said.

The total project debt has climbed to $3.6 billion from an initial project cost of $3.3 billion and 2014 actually saw a 3.9 per cent decrease in Port Mann bridge use.

TI Corp. expects improved performance in future years.

Traffic has been up so far in 2015. There were 112,300 crossings per day on average in June, up 5.6 per cent from the same month a year earlier and up 3.1 per cent from June 2013.

Kerr was unable to provide any guidance on the pace of toll increases motorists should expect in future years.

“Our goal has been to keep the toll as low as possible and minimize increases,” Kerr said.

NDP transportation critic Claire Trevena said drivers continue to pay the price for a project that has failed to meet expectations.

“The forecast in 2006 was for almost 149,000 daily crossings by 2013,” she said. “The actual crossings are nowhere near that.”

Higher tolls may drive use down further, worsening the financial picture and the congestion at free crossings, Trevena said.

She said the province should give drivers “fair warning” of how tolls are expected to rise in the future, as BC Ferries has done by telegraphing its intent to raise fares two per cent in each of the next four years.

“There was no plan or strategy here. This toll increase came completely out of the blue.”

The TI Corp. is charged with ensuring the project costs are paid off by 2050, when tolls on the bridge are supposed to end.

Medium vehicles – cars with trailers, cube vans and motor homes – will now pay $6.30 per crossing instead of $6, while larger vehicles like commercial trucks and buses will pay $9.45 instead of $9. The toll for motorcycles rises from $1.50 to $1.60.

The tolls are what registered TReO users pay because their vehicle’s decal is automatically detected and their account is charged. Non-TReO vehicles pay an additional billing fee that reflects the costs of scanning their licence plates and mailing out paper bills.

More than 1.5 million vehicles are registered with TReO, about two-thirds of all vehicles in Metro Vancouver.

Port Mann Bridge crossings | Create infographics

NEW TOLLS EFFECTIVE AUG. 15

Just Posted

City of White Rock hosts official pier reopening

Event included ribbon-cutting, speeches, live music

Surrey school district to allow students to miss class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike

Holland Park event part of marches around the world Sept. 20

Surrey RCMP need help to find missing man

Denis Godard, 64, who was reported missing on Sept. 19

Little library stolen in Clayton Heights

Thieves permanently check out family’s book collection

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Most Read

l -->