OTTAWA, Ont. — Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre has announced that he has approved a new toll structure for the Confederation Bridge that had been proposed by the bridge operator, Strait Crossing Bridge Limited (SCBL).
“SCBL submitted the new toll structure for my approval following extensive consultation with stakeholders,” Lapierre said. “I have decided to approve this new toll structure as the majority of stakeholders believed this would have a very positive impact on tourism and the bus industry, will not impact the majority of traffic travelling by car, and will maintain fairness for the trucking industry.”
One of the fundamental changes in the revised toll structure is the implementation of a per axle toll for all vehicles. Essentially, the new toll structure calls for a base fee of $39.50 for the first two axles and $6.50 per additional axle. While rates will rise slightly for five-axle and six-axle trucks, they will fall for four-axle trucks as well as for trucks hauling double trailers. Towed vehicles will also be charged according to the total number of axles.
The new axle-based toll structure is consistent with other bridge and highway toll structures across North America, which for the most part charge a fee based on the number of axles. Transport Canada is basing their decision based on the fact that, generally speaking, a vehicle with a higher number of axles will exert more weight on the road surface, which in turn translates into more maintenance costs for the infrastructure. Axle count is considered the most independent and objective method of calculating weight increments without actually weighing all vehicles according to Transport Canada.
“An axle-based system is not only more logical and equitable for motorists and the transportation industry, but is also simpler for all users to understand,” Lapierre said.
The new toll structure will be implemented Jan. 1.
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