Toll North Shore bridges, Langley mayor says
People who use the North Shore bridges should pay tolls to make things fair for people living south of the Fraser River, says the mayor of Langley, who believes the burden of paying for transportation should be spread evenly.
Mayor Peter Fassbender says it's unfair that people living in the Fraser Valley will have to pay tolls to cross the new Port Mann and the Golden Ears bridges, and that tolling the Lions Gate and Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows bridges would make things more even in the region.
"South of the Fraser we are faced with tolls on virtually every structure leaving the region," he said.
"We've been carrying a disproportionate share. We need to find solutions."
Fassbender says the province could also consider using gas and carbon taxes to level the playing field. He wants to sit down with the provincial government to talk about tolling options to have an "equitable share."
"We need to look at everything. We need to look at the First Narrows, the Ironworkers Bridge, the (Massey) Tunnel, the new Pattullo Bridge if we do build a new one or retro-fit the existing one," he said.
Fassbender also supports putting tolls on bridges that have already been tolled and paid off, like the Lions Gate and Second Narrows bridges.
"Just because you built a structure and pay for it doesn't mean there isn't ongoing maintenance, doesn't mean it doesn't contribute to the road network, so we have to be open to all of that," he said.
Fassbender does say his council is happy about a new bus service to Langley and the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge, but more needs to be done to ensure sustainable transportation for the future.
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