Your editorial [For whom the bridge tolls, Sept. 13 Opinion, Langley Advance] suggests an error in judgment has led to the creation of the new Port Mann Bridge.
I wholeheartedly disagree. Currently, the bottleneck on Highway 1 lasts 14 hours a day.
No transit bus has run a regularly scheduled route on the Port Mann Bridge in a generation. To suggest that government should have invested $1 billion into transit before actually having a way for buses to cross the Fraser River doesn't make sense.
The Port Mann/Highway project includes 37 kilometres of highway widening from Vancouver to Langley, including 30 kms of new HOV lanes, eliminating the bottlenecks along the highway that currently tie up traffic.
This is happening in concert with improvements to transit services, including the $1.4 billion Evergreen Line, which will link neighbourhoods in Burnaby, Port Moody, and Coquitlam to other regional transit services.
The new Port Mann Bridge will accommodate RapidBus service, connecting Langley to Burnaby in less than 25 minutes. We are working closely with TransLink to ensure RapidBus is running when the Port Mann Bridge opens in December of this year.
When the Port Mann/Highway 1 project is complete, a round trip from Langley to Vancouver will be an hour shorter than it is today. This will allow drivers to spend more time with family, friends, and other more important activities, and get the trucks that carry important goods to and from all corners of our province moving again.
We look forward to December, when those commuting via car or transit will begin to see the difference a smooth commute will make to their lives.
Mary Polak, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure