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OT: Tolls lifted on Coquihalla Highway

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09-26-2008, 07:15 PM
  #1
Nolan Bombgardener
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OT: Tolls lifted on Coquihalla Highway

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/ne...6-b17179370a85

Quote:
Tolls lifted on Coquihalla Highway: Premier
Staff Reporter, The Province
Published: Friday, September 26, 2008

PENTICTON -- It took almost two decades from the project's completion, but Premier Gordon Campbell is finally lifting tolls on the Coquihalla Highway, effective immediately.

The key connector -- credited with easing the flow of goods and travellers to the B.C. Interior -- officially opened in May 1986, with the final construction phases following in the fall of 1987 and 1990.

The Coquihalla runs from Hope through Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna. About 3.4 million trips are made along the route annually.
Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon collects tolls on the Coquihalla during a tour of the B.C. Interior last year. The premier announced Friday tolls are lifted immediately on the highway.
Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon collects tolls on the Coquihalla during a tour of the B.C. Interior last year. The premier announced Friday tolls are lifted immediately on the highway.

The transportation ministry says tolls bring in about $57 million a year, and that the cost of the $848-million highway would have been completely offset as of next month.

"Removing the tolls will mean literally hundreds of dollars annually in the pockets of British Columbians who regularly use the highway," said Campbell in a release.

"It will also mean thousands of dollars in annual saving for truckers who account for 20 per cent of highway traffic along the corridor but pay more than half of the total toll revenue."

Campbell announced the toll cancellation during his address at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Friday.

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09-26-2008, 07:22 PM
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Riven
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Saw this on the CBC earlier.

Now that I have a 4X4 truck, I think I'll go up there to try out the skiing this winter.

Maybe Campbell is feeling the heat over the carbon tax and figures he has to do something to show he isn't gouging everyone.

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09-26-2008, 07:34 PM
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hackey
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Do you think there might be an election coming up soon?

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09-26-2008, 07:34 PM
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eklunds source
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Awesome! More road trips to CGY/EDM for Canucks games

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09-26-2008, 07:44 PM
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Riven
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Originally Posted by hackey View Post
Do you think there might be an election coming up soon?
Yes. Remember, we have fixed election dates now in BC.

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09-26-2008, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by eklunds source View Post
Awesome! More road trips to CGY/EDM for Canucks games
the $10 toll is all that was stopping you?

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09-26-2008, 07:56 PM
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It's about time...

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09-26-2008, 08:10 PM
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Nolan Bombgardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrisQo View Post
the $10 toll is all that was stopping you?
The $10 was absolutely worth it considering the alternative route on Highway 1. You save more than that in fuel costs, not to mention wear and tear on the car.

On the subject at hand, since the tolls were generating $57 million in revenue, where would that money come from now? Tolls on bridges in the lower mainland perhaps?

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09-26-2008, 08:24 PM
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Thank you! This is going to save me about $300.00 a year with all the trips up to Merritt and back I make for business. The toll was a ridiculous money grab and it was about time it was tossed!

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09-26-2008, 08:59 PM
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eklunds source
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrisQo View Post
the $10 toll is all that was stopping you?
No, I already do 3-4 a year, but that still saves me $80 there/back to spend on beer while I'm there.

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09-26-2008, 09:02 PM
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actually that's pretty sweet.

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Old
09-26-2008, 09:30 PM
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I wonder how they are going to pay for all the repairs on the highway in the next 20 years?

Pretty standard timing politically speaking.

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09-26-2008, 10:08 PM
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hell yes.

I just pulled up to the toll and there were all these t.v. trucks there, for a minute I though someone had been abducted or something. Then I see a giant sign that says "Now Free!"

super sweet

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09-26-2008, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He Hate Me View Post
The $10 was absolutely worth it considering the alternative route on Highway 1. You save more than that in fuel costs, not to mention wear and tear on the car.

On the subject at hand, since the tolls were generating $57 million in revenue, where would that money come from now? Tolls on bridges in the lower mainland perhaps?
http://www.goldenearsbridge.ca/code/navigate.php?Id=1

This toll bridge is going to pull in MAJOR bank...I grew up in Maple Ridge and would gladly pay 2 bucks to get over to Langley,Surrey or Abbottsford directly instead of having to go the long way around or wait for the Ferry. The only sad thing is it's going to destroy the seclusion that makes MR such a nice place to live and raise kids.

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09-27-2008, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UBCsalmonslayer View Post
I wonder how they are going to pay for all the repairs on the highway in the next 20 years?
The money raised by the toll was never supposed to cover maintenance. It was there to pay for the construction.

I never did understand why the Bill Bennett government chose to make the users of this particular road pay the costs of building it. I can't think of any other examples where they did something like this.

From the beginning, the intent was to remove the tolls once the take had covered construction costs.

I remember this issue being raised several years ago. People in the Okanagan argued it was time to remove the tolls. The Highways Minister of the day said there was still some ways to go and don't hold your breath, the tolls stay.

So, today's announcement comes as a bit of a surprise. As I stated above it really looks like Campbell wants to mend a few fences after getting kicked around over the carbon tax.

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09-27-2008, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riven View Post
The money raised by the toll was never supposed to cover maintenance. It was there to pay for the construction.

I never did understand why the Bill Bennett government chose to make the users of this particular road pay the costs of building it. I can't think of any other examples where they did something like this.

From the beginning, the intent was to remove the tolls once the take had covered construction costs.

I remember this issue being raised several years ago. People in the Okanagan argued it was time to remove the tolls. The Highways Minister of the day said there was still some ways to go and don't hold your breath, the tolls stay.

So, today's announcement comes as a bit of a surprise. As I stated above it really looks like Campbell wants to mend a few fences after getting kicked around over the carbon tax.
The tolls were introduced because, at the time, a $900 million highway was a HUGE expense. Also, the $57M of revenue will just come out of the current surplus revenue for the next few years in all likelihood.

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09-27-2008, 01:40 AM
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Seriously...the government is not going to miss $57 million. This is long overdue, as the tolls were only supposed to pay for the cost of the highway in the first place.

Its the spending of the money that the government does too much of, not too little collecting.

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09-27-2008, 02:33 AM
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Johnny LaRue
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Only fifteen years late!

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09-27-2008, 04:06 AM
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You all let them pass a carbon tax?

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09-27-2008, 06:57 AM
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i guess the people who work in the toll booths woke up to a little surprise .. bet they arent happy.

i guess when your work requires zero experience and provides no value added results, you are prone to waking up to it being abolished with the stroke of a pen.

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09-27-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
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You all let them pass a carbon tax?
Nobody had much say.. there wasn't a referendum or anything. I've probably already spent more on gas with the hike than the 100 dollars they sent out to everyone.

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09-27-2008, 09:19 AM
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Now maybe I'll move back to BC. Nah, who am I kidding. I couldn't take the pay cut, tax increase and more expensive housing.

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09-27-2008, 11:23 AM
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Impossibles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR View Post
i guess the people who work in the toll booths woke up to a little surprise .. bet they arent happy.

i guess when your work requires zero experience and provides no value added results, you are prone to waking up to it being abolished with the stroke of a pen.
Yeah, I feel a little sorry for them. I'm sure they were getting $30/hr to sit in those booths too.

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09-27-2008, 11:28 AM
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As stated before, pretty standard timing considering elections are coming soon.

I do not drive the Coquihalla Highway on a regular basis (maybe 2-4 times per year) and I personally do not mind paying the toll. My biggest question is... how is the government going to pay for repairs and maintenance of the highway?

On a NIGHTLY basis during for roughly 8 months of the year, there is snowstorms. There are ALWAYS vehicles clearing the roads... this kind of stuff isn't cheap by any means. "The coke" is in a secluded area with few people that live within an area to work on it. One has to be paid for his time to get there, work on the roads on graveyards (premium wage), pay for the service vehicle (including fuel and amortization costs) AND pay the guy for going back home... And it isn't just one guy that does it... there are lots of people clearing that highway at the same time.

That highway takes a beating because of the weather too... How are we going to pay for repairs on the highway?

I can understand giving breaks on the toll to those that drive it frequently (truckers are the biggest one), but I do not think completely waiving the toll fee will work out in the long run as it will cost too much to maintain.

All on all... good to hear though .

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09-27-2008, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droller View Post
As stated before, pretty standard timing considering elections are coming soon.

I do not drive the Coquihalla Highway on a regular basis (maybe 2-4 times per year) and I personally do not mind paying the toll. My biggest question is... how is the government going to pay for repairs and maintenance of the highway?

On a NIGHTLY basis during for roughly 8 months of the year, there is snowstorms. There are ALWAYS vehicles clearing the roads... this kind of stuff isn't cheap by any means. "The coke" is in a secluded area with few people that live within an area to work on it. One has to be paid for his time to get there, work on the roads on graveyards (premium wage), pay for the service vehicle (including fuel and amortization costs) AND pay the guy for going back home... And it isn't just one guy that does it... there are lots of people clearing that highway at the same time.

That highway takes a beating because of the weather too... How are we going to pay for repairs on the highway?

I can understand giving breaks on the toll to those that drive it frequently (truckers are the biggest one), but I do not think completely waiving the toll fee will work out in the long run as it will cost too much to maintain.

All on all... good to hear though .
As was stated earlier, the toll was never brought in to pay for repairs on the highway. It was brought in to pay for the highway itself.

I'm assuming that the toll was going into general revenue after the road was paid off and the repairs and maintenance were paid for by whatever agency we have in charge of highways and maintenance.

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