One-third (34%) of weekly Port Mann Bridge users say they will actively seek new routes in order to avoid paying the introductory $1.50 toll, according to an Insights West poll released yesterday.
When the toll increases on March 1 to $3.50 for everyone except those who buy special decals, 46% of those polled said that they would seek new routes and 33% said that they would drive over the bridge less often.
"The issue of tolling seems to have divided Metro Vancouver into two camps – those who are in favour since they don't drive over the bridge, with the opposition camp being firmly entrenched among drivers who are impacted," said Steve Mossop, president of Insights West.
"Residents south of the Fraser remain bitterly opposed to the toll, despite being satisfied with the new bridge overall."
Mossop speculated that the Port Mann Bridge could become as underused as the Golden Ears Bridge with congestion moving to free routes as drivers avoid tolls.
The online survey of 583 Metro Vancouver residents was conducted the week following the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge, between December 1 and 5.