Re: Driving toward the future, March 23; Bridge toll reform can wait: B.C. transportation minister, March 23.
I fully support the position stated by Delta Mayor Lois Jackson and many others in Surrey that a $1 toll on all bridges in Metro Vancouver at this time would be a much more equitable way to raise the necessary funds for recent and future bridge construction in the area.
I would go further and include the Massey Tunnel, as well.
However, I would suggest any provincial move in this direction is not likely for at least another year or possibly two. Minister Todd Stone and the BC Liberal party do not want to impose a new tax, regardless how reasonable and beneficial it seems to us in Surrey, Langley and even Delta, as there’s a provincial election coming in about a year.
All those good folks in Richmond, West and North Vancouver, Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows get free rides unless they are unfortunate enough to have to cross the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges. They would all cry foul and pummel the Liberals.
The folks in North and West Vancouver would certainly point out that they paid tolls for years. Of course, they would ignore the fact that was decades ago and we, the taxpayers south of the Fraser, have paid a great deal in taxes for the maintenance and upgrading of their two bridges since then.
This is a far simpler process than implementing variable road pricing based on the time of day and location or distance travelled.
Let’s stay away from that mess that is used in several European countries and cities such as Singapore.
Implementing a standard toll of $1 per vehicle also stops penalizing owners of delivery vehicles, small and large, for the delivery of goods we are requesting throughout all of Metro Vancouver.
Let’s hope that sanity and fairness prevail over petty politics.
Tim Roark, Surrey