VICTORIA, B.C. - B.C. has approved the use of road tolls, but the government promises it won't go on a tolling rampage as a result."I think the tolling opportunities are quite limited, and we have to ...
VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. has approved the use of road tolls, but the government promises it won’t go on a tolling rampage as a result.
“I think the tolling opportunities are quite limited, and we have to be aware of that,” B.C. Transportation Minister, Judith Reid announced during a cabinet meeting broadcast live across B.C. recently.
Possible toll routes include a second crossing of Okanagan Lake at Kelowna and new bridges in the Lower Mainland that would reduce traffic congestion. The cabinet then came up with an 11-point tolling guideline policy.
The guidelines include provisions ensuring that only major projects that provide significant capacity increases will be eligible for tolling. Also, tolls will only be applied if there is a clear benefit for the road user. As well, tolls will only be permitted if there is a reasonable toll-free alternative available.
“We are committed to opening up British Columbia’s transportation infrastructure to revitalize the economy and create new opportunities across the province,” Reid said in a press release following the meeting. “Although we already have tolls, B.C. has never had a clear policy to ensure accountability and protect the public interest where tolling is permitted.” The province passed legislation that paves the way for public-private partnerships, last fall.
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