UBC professor proposes tolls on all bridges, tunnels
A professor at the University of B.C. says tolls on Metro Vancouver's roads, bridges and tunnels could be a boon to the region -- and local mayors aren't ready to rule out the idea.
David Gillen of UBC's Sauder School of Business says more tolls could raise funds and cut down on congestion and pollution.
"If all of the bridges and tunnels were tolled, those prices would reflect what the relevant costs of those crossings would be and you would have an allocation of traffic in a fairly efficient manner, and you wouldn't have people searching for alternative routes," Gillen said.
"It incentivizes people to think carefully about whether a trip is necessary."
Some mayors think the idea is worth looking into, like New Westminster's Wayne Wright, who saw many examples of tolled roads on a recent trip to Australia.
"Everywhere you go there, every major road, there's a little noise and that's your toll," he told CTV News.
Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini says that tolls can be used to fund important projects.
"The secret is what do you do with the money? Number one, you pay for the infrastructure, but you have to invest it in public transit and alternate forms of transportation," he said.
TransLink is currently drawing on reserve funds to pay down its debt, which it says is manageable. But service expansion is out of the question for now, and CEO Ian Jarvis says that more tolls are under consideration as a funding source.
Daily commuters like Tan Huynh aren't happy about the idea.
"We pay all these taxes for some kind of government-provided transportation system. If you put a toll on, it's some kind of rip-off," Huynh said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber