Golden Ears Bridge toll bill included 23 phantom charges

A Coquitlam, B.C., man will be taking a closer look at his bill for crossing the Golden Ears Bridge after discovering 23 charges for trips he didn't make.

"Quite frankly, I don't trust the system now," says Coquitlam's Greg McNally

The Golden Ears Bridge, east of Vancouver, connects Maple Ridge on the north side of Fraser River with Surrey and the Trans-Canada Highway on the south side of the river. (CBC)

A Coquitlam, B.C., man will be taking a closer look at his bill for crossing the Golden Ears Bridge after discovering 23 charges for trips he didn't make.

Greg McNally says he hasn't been in the habit of tracking his trips across TransLink's toll bridge and matching them up to the numbers on the bills he received from Quickpass, the toll operator.

But now he warning others to start checking, after discovering nearly two dozen phantom charges on his account.

"It was really by happenstance, I looked at one of the entries — and it so happened that I was in the hospital at that time," he said.

Confused, McNally took a closer look at the other entries and determined that he was billed for 23 trips over the past half year that he couldn't account for.

TransLink spokeswoman Jiana Ling said it's likely that another car has a similar licence plate to McNally's, and the automated scanner made a mistake.

"There are a small portion of those plates that can be misread," she said.

Ling said the Quickpass system's camera is able to capture a readable license plate 99 per cent of the time, and the optical character recognition the system uses is 90 per cent accurate.

The good news for McNally is that Quickpass confirmed his findings and credited his account for the mistaken tolls, which amounted to $69.

But the records he can access only go back six months, and McNally wonders if there were more phantom charges before that.

Going forward, he now keeps a notebook in which he logs each time he crosses the bridge, so he can compare the entries against his next bill.

"Quite frankly, I don't trust the system now," he said.

Google Maps: Golden Ears Bridge

With files from the CBC's Jesara Sinclair

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