B.C. conducts toll polls

SQUAMISH, B.C. — The B.C. government has put out some feelers to see how residents would feel about a $32 round trip toll on the Sea-to-Sky Hwy. between Vancouver and Whistler.

A recent poll surveyed more than 1,000 residents to see just how willing they would be to shell out money to make that drive. The surveyors also floated out the rate of $16 for a round trip between Vancouver and Squamish.

Ross Morben, a North Shore resident who took part in the survey, tells local media that "They’re taking away something that belongs to the taxpayers of the provinceIt’s one thing to create a new highway and put a toll on it, like they did with the Coquihalla, because you still have the option of the Fraser Canyon."

There’s no telling what the rate would be for transport trucks, but it would probably be considerably higher than it is for cars. On the Coq, cars are charged $10 while transport trucks can be charged up to $50.

But the Department of Transportation says tolls aren’t a definite answer, and the department is simply considering all options.

"No one knows whether tolls will exist or not on that highway, but we’re busy dreaming of every possible scenario," says Dan Mayberry, a spokesman for B.C. Transportation’s Partnerships Department. "Even if it sounds like a bad idea, we’re exploring it."

A recent study indicated it will cost the province nearly $1 billion to put four lanes between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish while adding safety improvements on the rest of the route up to Whistler.

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