It's hard to remember the last time driving in the Lower Mainland became less expensive, but officials in charge of the Golden Ears Bridge are considering reducing the tolls.

The $1.2 billion bridge opened to great fanfare almost a year ago, but traffic volumes have not come close to meeting projections.

"In the first eight-and-a-half months of business on the bridge, the average daily traffic volumes are just a little over 20,000," said TransLink's Ken Hardie.

That's almost 9,000 fewer vehicles a day than anticipated. TransLink blamed the reduced traffic on the economic downturn with less goods crossing the bridge and less development nearby.

With fewer people using the crossing, the bridge will cost almost $5 million more to operate in its first year. TransLink is looking at ways to attract more drivers to the bridge.

One of the things they are considering is reducing the price of tolls depending on the time of day.

"One option is to have a variable toll," said Hardie. "Maybe it's less expensive at certain times of the day when people are more likely to use it for non-business or non-commuting purposes."

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro