Drivers are avoiding the tolled Golden Ears Bridge in favour of the congested Port Mann Bridge, but a CTV News test drive has revealed that shelling out for the toll pays off in time -- and money -- saved.

On Tuesday afternoon, CTV News put the two bridges to the test, beginning in Langley at the 200 Street exit and driving both routes to the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam.

Beginning at 1 p.m., traffic was relatively quiet on the Port Mann Bridge. The 21.3 kilometres took 24 minutes to drive.

Almost an hour later, after paying an off-peak toll of $1.95, the Golden Ears Bridge was nearly empty and the 15.6 kilometres took only 16 minutes to traverse.

If gas and wear on a vehicle costs 45 cents per kilometre, taking the tolled Golden Ears route saved 62 cents and eight minutes.

Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender agrees that many drivers are trying to avoid the toll on the Golden Ears.

"In point of fact, maybe it's costing them more to drive around than it is to actually pay the toll," he said.

Gordon Price, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, says that people are more concerned about paying tolls than other considerations like time and gas money.

"People have gotten really used to the idea of free," he said. "It turns out people don't actually value their time that much, particular if they feel they're saving a few visible dollars."

Beginning next Friday, crossing the Golden Ears Bridge will cost 30 per cent less on weeknights and weekends, in an effort to get more drivers to use the route.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson