No plan to lower Port Mann truck rates: Victoria 0
A new report by the City of New Westminster says truck traffic on the Pattullo Bridge has increased 37.8% since the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge. (FILE PHOTO)
Victoria has no plans to reduce truck tolls on the Port Mann Bridge, despite New Westminster concerns that more and more trucks are clogging up the aging Pattullo to avoid paying them.
The City of New Westminster says in a new report that truck tolls for the Port Mann are currently at $9 per trip — there is a 50% discount from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. — and it’s expected costs will rise in December.
According to data compiled by the city, truck traffic on the Pattullo increased 37.8% between December — when the bridge opened — and the latest available data from August, when an average of 2,088 trucks were recorded crossing the span each day.
“Certainly I hear the concerns that the city council in New Westminster has expressed with respect to truck traffic,” Transportation Minister Todd Stone said Tuesday, adding there’s no short-term plan to change the current rates.
“I think it’s important to note truck traffic is actually up on most of the bridges in the region … depending on the month you look at, the statistics show anywhere from 18 to 25% increases in truck traffic on the Port Mann Bridge as well.”
The minister stressed the importance of continued discussions with Surrey, New Westminster and TransLink, which runs the bridge.
A report on the consultation process for the Pattullo Bridge replacement is expected next fall, he said.
TransLink pointed out last month that if the Pattullo isn’t replaced, the current $150 million cost to repair the structure would jump to nearly $300 million, as the bridge deck now needs to be fixed.