Tolling polling reveals increased ire over Port Mann fee hike

As a January toll increase for the Port Mann Bridge looms, drivers who use the bridge increasingly oppose the toll hike, according to an Insights ...

As a January toll increase for the Port Mann Bridge looms, drivers who use the bridge increasingly oppose the toll hike, according to an Insights West poll released December 13.

The toll is set to rise from $1.50 to $3 per crossing starting in January 2014.

The online survey showed that support for raising the toll has dropped from 51% in December of 2012 to 37% this month. Opposition to the toll has risen from 45% to 56%.

Opposition is highest among residents who use the bridge once a week or more, at 72%.

This time last year, 52% said a toll increase would not affect the way they use the bridge. That has dropped to 36%.

More people say they are looking at ways to avoid the toll: 31% say they will look for new routes, up five percentage points from last year.

But 48% of drivers who use the Port Mann Bridge once a week or more say they will continue to use the bridge as usual when the toll increase takes affect.

"Some casual drivers have already chosen other routes, such as the Pattullo Bridge, in order to save some cash," says Mario Canseco, vice-president of public affairs at Insights West. "Still, practically half of heavy Port Mann Bridge users are just going to carry on when the toll goes up."

jstdenis@biv.com

@jenstden

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