NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — The Public Bridge Authority and Commission have approved plans to convert the toll collection for commercial vehicles from two-way to one-way, westbound into Canada.
This approach by both the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission mirrors actions taken a number of years ago when passenger vehicles went to one-way collection.
The change in operations is intended to ease traffic congestion and is scheduled to occur in winter 2002.
“The Niagara River international bridges are working together to identify every possible means to make travel over the border as efficient as it can be. We are confident that by eliminating a “wheel stop” for commercial carriers, there will be improvement in traffic flow for all bridge users,” says Earl Rowe, Peace Bridge general manager for corporate services.
The toll structures, which are still in development, are intended to be revenue neutral at both bridges, and will now be collected by the number of axles on a commercial vehicle, as opposed to weight. Individual carrier behavior, such as most frequent direction of travel, will likely yield lower overall costs for some, while other carriers may experience an increase based upon the same factors.
By converting from a weight based toll collection to axle count, both authorities will be ready for implementation of the E-Z Pass system for electronic toll collection expected to debut on those bridges in early 2003. E-Z Pass combined with one-way toll will benefit more than 2.5 million commercial carriers.