We're tremendously proud of the new Port Mann Bridge, so it's important to correct a few points in Mary Daube's letter [Money is tolls' sole objective, Jan. 29 Letters, Langley Advance].
The Port Mann Bridge is a public asset, and as such, it's managed by Transportation Investment Corporation (TI Corp), a public crown corporation established by the province of B.C.
TI Corp manages the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project and TReO, the toll system on the new Port Mann Bridge.
Even though it was conceived as a P3, or public private partnership, the Port Mann project is being delivered under a design build agreement, keeping the bridge and all associated improvements as assets of the people of B.C. That means tolls do not produce a profit.
Tolls are, however, important to pay for the cost of the project, and they will be in place until the project is paid for. This is expected to take until 2050, and government has committed to removing tolls at that time.
Since the new bridge opened to eight lanes on Dec. 1, TI Corp has been achieving its goals of reducing congestion and travel times, facilitating expanded transit service, and expanding infrastructure for high occupancy vehicles.
The new bridge, along with other Highway 1 improvements, is making a positive difference in people's lives every day, with many drivers able to cut their commutes in half.
What's more, transit is rolling across the bridge for the first time in 25 years.
Twenty-five per cent HOV discounts are available from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. We understand these times won't accommodate all drivers' schedules, however these are the periods of peak volume on the Port Mann Bridge, when most drivers will benefit.
We're proud of the difference the Port Mann Bridge is already making in people's lives, and drivers can look forward to additional travel time savings and HOV and transit improvements as we complete the second phase of the project.
Mary Polak, Langley MLA and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure