Nickel and dime to cross each time

 

It will cost you another nickel to cross the Golden Ears Bridge between Langley and Maple Ridge starting in the middle of this month.

TransLink announced that tolls are rising by five cents for cars, ten cents for light trucks, and 15 cents for large trucks for each trip.

Motorcyclists are the only group of motorists who will not be affected.

That will increase the cost of a crossing from $3 for a car with a transponder or TReO decal to $3.05. The new highest level toll, for “pay as you go” travel without a decal or a registered license plate, will now be $4.30 for a car.

Small trucks will cost between $6.10 to $7.25 per trip, while large trucks will cost between $9.10 per crossing to $10.30.

Motorcycles with a transponder pay nothing, and pay just $2.80 at the highest pay as you go rate.

The increase is an adjustment due to inflation of about 1.5 per cent over the past year.

While it’s an expected increase, it will still have an effect on local businesses and commuters, noted Kristine Simpson, president of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve got a bit of a captive audience,” Simpson noted, as the Port Mann is also tolled, and there are plans to eventually replace the Patullo Bridge with a tolled structure.

The Langley Chamber wants to see wider road pricing and tolls around the region to lower costs and pay for improved infrastructure, rather than putting the onus on drivers from this area to take on the costs.

According to TransLink, the use of the Golden Ears has gone up steadily since 2009, and is now up by 25 per cent since the first year of tolled crossing in 2010. In the first quarter of this year there were more than 3.5 million crossings compared to the same three months in 2013.

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