The new Port Mann Bridge. Drivers pay $1.50 while introductory discounts are in effect

The new Port Mann Bridge. Drivers pay $1.50 while introductory discounts are in effect

Poll shows many drivers plan to avoid Port Mann tolls

$3 tolls will send majority of weekly bridge users to new routes

A new poll of Lower Mainland drivers who use the Port Mann Bridge shows many plan to shift to untolled routes to avoid the new tolls – especially once a half-price introductory discount ends.

The online survey conducted by Insights West suggests traffic congestion is set to worsen further on free crossings of the Fraser River such as the Alex Fraser and Pattullo bridges.

It shows a third of commuters who normally used the Port Mann Bridge at least weekly intend to actively seek out new routes to avoid the toll.

A third said they will drive over the bridge less often while 45 per cent said they will keep using it and pay the tolls.

The same drivers were also asked what they will do once the half-price introductory discount ends and they’re paying $3 tolls to use the new bridge.

More than 55 per cent of weekly Highway 1 users said they’ll seek new routes after the toll doubles and just 31 per cent said they’d keep on paying to cross.

(For all Port Mann users, including less frequent ones, 46.4 per cent said they’d seek out new routes, 33 per cent said they’d use the bridge less often and 34.5 per cent said they’d use it as usual and pay the toll. Respondents could give more than one answer so results add up to more than 100 per cent.)

Insights West president Steve Mossop said the findings show residents South of the Fraser like the new bridge but remain “bitterly opposed” to tolling of the Highway 1 crossing.

Only time will tell, he said, whether the Port Mann ends up suffering lower-than-expected traffic volumes because of the toll, as happened with TransLink’s Golden Ears Bridge.

“We’ll see if people have the patience and tolerance to actually sit on the Pattullo or the Alex Fraser and wait through the backups to avoid that fee,” Mossop said.

“It’s not people just expressing their anger and frustration. It’s a real entrenched mindset.”

The poll also found Lower Mainland residents remain split on whether the Port Mann should be tolled – 50.8 per cent support tolls while 45 per cent oppose them.

Among frequent Port Mann users, 60 per cent oppose tolls while 40 per cent support them.

“The issue of tolling seems to have divided Metro Vancouver into two camps,” Mossop said. “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.”

TReO decal users tend to support the tolls, with 55 per cent in favour to 45 per cent opposed.

Mossop said the opposition to tolls reflects “a lot of disgruntled voters” who may yet have an influence in next spring’s provincial election.

“That’s a big number to be opposed,” he said. “Governments lose elections on numbers like that.”

He noted TReO has done an “excellent job” of promoting the bridge and luring drivers to sign up through staged discounts and an offer of 20 free trips.

Nearly 70 per cent of Metro Vancouver drivers polled said they’d signed up, roughly matching statistics reported by the province.

Sixty five per cent said they were satisfied with the new bridge itself.

A majority of drivers who use it at least monthly said they expect it will save them time.

The online survey of nearly 600 people has a four per cent margin of error.

Have your say at www.yourinsights.ca

Just Posted

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read