“The thing about the Port Mann Bridge is people start using it–and they love it, because it saves so much of their time that they would otherwise be driving and they can spend with their family for example or get out and coach soccer. So they have some really good strategies I think to try and improve those numbers, but after speaking with them I’m confident they’re gonna find a way to manage through this.”
The Transportation Investment Corporation which operates the bridge for government has had to borrow money to fill the gap in revenue left by the shortfall.
The number of vehicles crossing the Port Mann declined every single month last year except for December, which saw a 3% increase. ~ http://www.cknw.com/2015/01/22/premier-says-drivers-will-embrace-tolled-port-mann/?sc_ref=facebook
Here’s the real thing about the Port Mann Bridge, Premier Clark.
It’s true that people love saving time on their commute so they can spend more time with their family, or get out with their friends….or get to their second,and sometimes third job.
You see Premier Clark, because the Vancouver area is too expensive for many average families and young couples starting out, Surrey,Langley and the Fraser Valley have provided somewhat affordable housing for all of us. We also have a very large population of lower-income earners and pensioners, both groups of people who are often barely making ends meet.
Those who used the old crossing were excited to hear an end to the gridlock down Highway 1 was in sight, but in the years since the bridge began construction, a lot more has changed in this province than just premiers.
The federal government is taking more money off paycheques in the form of higher EI and CPP deductions. ICBC is going up, BC hydro rates are going up, MSP premiums have gone up again.
Tuition rates have risen,hitting college students and parents in the pocket-book hard.
BC ferries has gone up over the years, for those who can still afford a vacation. Even with the fuel surcharge gone for now, it’s a budget breaking trip for many.
Food prices have skyrocketed, something we have discussed at length here on this blog. When people are worried about the soon to expire discount disappearing you know things are worse than it seems at first glance.
In Surrey, property taxes were just hiked and that didn’t just impact property owners, but renters as well as landlords happily passed part of that burden on to tenants.
Even the ability to go camping-historically a low-cost alternative vacation for families that was affordable with a tent tossed in the back and some gear – is increasingly out of reach as your government announced today a fee increase for usage.
It all adds up Premier Clark. And when it does, there isn’t much left over- certainly not enough in many cases to cover a months worth of tolls if you use the bridge twice a day, five days a week to get to and from work or school. It actually does make a very big difference to many people’s budgets.
So here’s the thing about the Port Mann bridge Premier Clark, that gets to the heart of the matter.
It could have turned out like a Field of Dreams, where if you build it, they will come.
But after being nickeled and dimed at every opportunity, drivers are sending a very clear message to your government about the Port Mann Bridge. The question is, are you listening?
*please note it states ‘going to’ – not ‘gonna’.