Road Tolls Canada
November 25, 2011 by staff
“It’s literally changed my life,” says Potente. “It has cut 40 to 60 minutes off my commute. It’s 40 to 60 extra minutes at home.”
According to a new poll, Potente is not alone.
Half of Canadians surveyed in an online poll conducted exclusively for CBC News by Leger Marketing said they would be willing to pay road tolls if it would ease gridlock and shorten their commute.
Road tolls have long been a taboo topic for many politicians, but it appears Canadians are not as averse to the idea.
By taking the toll bridge from his home in Laval into Montreal, Potente only drives 1.2 kilometres to work and pays up to $2.40 each way. The cost adds up to about $1,200 a year, but Potente says it’s well worth it.
“My time is extremely valuable,” says Potente. “If there was an option to pay more to save me even more time, absolutely no doubt about it [I would pay more].”
On average, city commuters appear willing to pay up to $3 a day for road tolls, according to the poll.
Tolls favoured on new roads
Using tolls on new bridges or roads, such as the new Laval-Montreal bridge, was seen in a far more favourable light than those placed on already aging infrastructure.
Seventy-six per cent of those surveyed in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver said tolls would be acceptable on new bridges or roads to pay for the cost of building them.
By comparison, only 56 per cent of the city dwellers deemed it acceptable to add a toll to an existing bridge or road to pay for needed repairs.
Using tolls to pay for transit upgrades garnered even less support, at 47 per cent.
Whereas road and bridge tolls are more commonplace in Europe and the United States, only 18 tolls exist across Canada — the majority of which are for bridges and tunnels straddling the Canada-U.S. border.
With cash-strapped governments struggling to pay for growing and crumbling infrastructure, that could soon change.
And the Leger poll suggests that many Canadians living in congested cities would be open to the idea. Most of those surveyed agreed that the use of tolls would place the “financial burden where it belongs.”
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