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Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers
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Author:  Reggie The Shark [ October 26th, 2015, 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

During the Federal election campaign the Liberals committed to, no bridge tolls for the planned construction of the new eight lane Champlain Bridge, connecting Montreal Island to the Southshore. This project will cost the taxpayers of Canada an estimated $4.2 billion. When the bridge project was announced, tolls were going to be charged between $2 to $4. This would have paid for the bridge over 30 years.

Perhaps this would be a good time for our Island MPs to lobby the Cabinet to also eliminate tolls for the Confederation Bridge. We've been paying Straight Crossing, tolls for 18 years. Under the contract with Straight Crossing we are expected to continue to pay for 12 more years with the cost of tolls increasing annually by the rate of inflation (CPI index).

Now, in the interests of fairness, why should Quebec get a
$4.2 billion bridge with no tolls while Maritimers continue to pay a significant toll on a $1 billion bridge?

Author:  Blake McKinley [ October 26th, 2015, 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

Maybe because Quebec didn't get suckered in to signing a deal that would have government and Islanders subsidize a private company with no risk.

If you don't think it's fair that's really too bad at the end of the day.
Blame the people who set up the deal to begin with.

Author:  Reggie The Shark [ October 26th, 2015, 7:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

From what I've read, a deal has been signed with a consortium that includes SNC-Lavalin, ACS Infrastructures, Dragados Canada, and Flatiron Construction who is not only going to build the bridge, but will also be responsible for keeping the bridge in good condition for 30 years, until 2049.

Very similar to the deal signed for the Confederation Bridge. The Liberal Government will have to renegotiate the terms of the deal and pay the costs from the federal treasury rather than from users paying a toll.

There is no reason why the same approach could not be taken with Straight Crossing. The cost would be significantly cheaper since we've already been paying tolls for 18 years.

Author:  Yesitsme [ October 27th, 2015, 9:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

Why would they do that when they know they already have PEI and it costs nothing extra? Anyone who thinks that somehow the Liberal governments were so benevolent to Islanders has a short memory.

Author:  Reggie The Shark [ December 10th, 2015, 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

I was really pleased to see that PEI Senator Percy Downe has taken up the cause that Islanders should be treated the same as Quebecers with respect to our bridges. (The Guardian article December 10, 2015)

He agrees that it is unfair that Maritimers and other Canadians using the $1 Billion Confederation Bridge should be paying a hefty toll ($45.50) while the current government is planning to have Canadian taxpayers pay for the $4 to $5 Billion new Champlain bridge and charge no tolls. He is encouraging Islanders to write their member of Parliament in order to put this issue of fairness on the table.

I am sure these additional transportation costs make it difficult for Island firms to be competitive with off Island companies.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2015-12-10/article-4370839/P.E.I.-senator-wants-Confederation-Bridge-tolls-removed/1

Author:  betamaxman [ January 8th, 2016, 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

Just how long is this champlain bridge.

Author:  Blake McKinley [ January 8th, 2016, 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

Not very long but the build cost is almost 5 times what the Confederation Bridge build cost was.

Author:  Gardiner [ January 9th, 2016, 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

Blake McKinley wrote:
Not very long but the build cost is almost 5 times what the Confederation Bridge build cost was.


and probably 5 times busier.

Author:  kreskin [ January 9th, 2016, 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

betamaxman wrote:
Just how long is this champlain bridge.

6 km long

Gardiner wrote:
Blake McKinley wrote:
Not very long but the build cost is almost 5 times what the Confederation Bridge build cost was.


and probably 5 times busier.


Actually, about 40 times busier (160,000 daily crossings versus 4,000 daily crossings, on average). The Champlain Bridge is the busiest single span bridge in Canada and one of the busiest in the world.

The Champlain Bridge used to have tolls many years ago ... fortunately, I didn't have to cross the bridge often when I lived in Montreal in those days, but I can't estimate the number of hours I spent in massive traffic snarls caused by drivers having to stop and pay the tolls (the majority of the daily traffic probably occurs over two 4 hour commute periods, meaning about 15,000 to 20,000 cars per hour were trying to squeeze through the toll plaza on Nun's Island).

Author:  Gardiner [ January 10th, 2016, 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

kreskin wrote:
betamaxman wrote:
Just how long is this champlain bridge.

6 km long

Gardiner wrote:
Blake McKinley wrote:
Not very long but the build cost is almost 5 times what the Confederation Bridge build cost was.


and probably 5 times busier.


Actually, about 40 times busier (160,000 daily crossings versus 4,000 daily crossings, on average). The Champlain Bridge is the busiest single span bridge in Canada and one of the busiest in the world.

The Champlain Bridge used to have tolls many years ago ... fortunately, I didn't have to cross the bridge often when I lived in Montreal in those days, but I can't estimate the number of hours I spent in massive traffic snarls caused by drivers having to stop and pay the tolls (the majority of the daily traffic probably occurs over two 4 hour commute periods, meaning about 15,000 to 20,000 cars per hour were trying to squeeze through the toll plaza on Nun's Island).

So why were the tolls removed(for traffic snarl reasons?) and how did they absorb that financial void?

Author:  kreskin [ January 11th, 2016, 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

Gardiner wrote:
So why were the tolls removed(for traffic snarl reasons?) and how did they absorb that financial void?


After 38 years (1962 - 1990), they had met the total revenues specified when the tolls were originally established.

After a couple of years, it was noted that the positive effect on Montreal's economy of removing the tolls (higher productivity of a significant portion of the workforce getting to work on time, higher morale of employees not spending hours every day getting to and from work, more efficient and timely delivery of trucked goods, etc) more than offset the loss of the $0.25/vehicle toll.

I can certainly understand why Montreal put up such a fight against tolls ... although I suppose that with the new toll technologies (like they have on the 407 in Toronto or on the turnpikes down here in Florida and other states) that the use transponders and/or plate readers rather than actual toll booths (which created the massive traffic issues) might have been a viable option.

Author:  Gardiner [ January 11th, 2016, 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

kreskin wrote:
Gardiner wrote:
So why were the tolls removed(for traffic snarl reasons?) and how did they absorb that financial void?


After 38 years (1962 - 1990), they had met the total revenues specified when the tolls were originally established.

After a couple of years, it was noted that the positive effect on Montreal's economy of removing the tolls (higher productivity of a significant portion of the workforce getting to work on time, higher morale of employees not spending hours every day getting to and from work, more efficient and timely delivery of trucked goods, etc) more than offset the loss of the $0.25/vehicle toll.

I can certainly understand why Montreal put up such a fight against tolls ... although I suppose that with the new toll technologies (like they have on the 407 in Toronto or on the turnpikes down here in Florida and other states) that the use transponders and/or plate readers rather than actual toll booths (which created the massive traffic issues) might have been a viable option.

Interesting and one would think that a new bridge would mean new revenues to meet?

Author:  kreskin [ January 11th, 2016, 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bridge Tolls - Fair Treatment for Maritimers

Gardiner wrote:

Interesting and one would think that a new bridge would mean new revenues to meet?


It was estimated that the toll required to cover cost of construction and maintenance over a similar period of time would have initially been close to $4 each car/each direction. And would have been pegged to inflation the same way as the Confederation Bridge.

However, that is a moot point now.

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