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Tyee Poll: What Should Be Done with Bridge Tolls in the Lower Mainland?

Have a car? Like to leave the city once in a while — or come into it? You’ve likely breathed a little sigh as you paid your toll and drove over the Port Mann or Golden Ears Bridge. Maybe you were sighing because you think your taxes should cover the bridge costs. Maybe you’re frustrated that the bridge is still millions of dollars in debt. Maybe you were remembering that the bridge was supposed to have broken even by now. Or maybe that little exhalation — was it a groan? — was simply a result of the notorious rush hour traffic.

No matter your feelings on the bridge tolls, they’ve just become an election issue.

As part of their election platform, the BC Liberals announced they would cap the total amount drivers pay to cross the Port Mann and Golden Ear Bridges every year at $500. Not to be outdone, the NDP came out with a one-up soon after — they say they’ll eliminate the tolls altogether.

There’s no denying that bridge tolls can be contentious. Some say they raise much-needed revenue. Others say they ensure the costs of big projects are borne by users. Some say they act as a mechanism to help reduce congestion on over-burdened roadways — and maybe even the region’s carbon footprint. Some ask why, if riders pay for public transit, don’t drivers pay for roads?

And still others have long advocated that tolls should be scrapped altogether, arguing that they constitute a regressive tax that hurts working people in the suburbs.

* Please note that all poll answers will be publicly viewable, but anonymous.

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Please note that Tyee Barometer polls are only intended as a quick and engaging non-scientific snapshot of our readers' opinions on various topics that fit with The Tyee's very broad editorial mandate. They are not intended to be seen as a representative sampling of BC opinion.

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