Golden Ears Bridge tolls rise despite scanner concerns
TransLink recommends drivers double-check their bills
The tolling rates for the Golden Ears Bridge are going up on Friday, despite concerns that the automatic tolling technology miscalculates the tolls for an estimated 260 vehicles a day.
The tolls are increasing about 3.5 per cent, adding between five to 30 cents to the cost of each crossing depending on the size of the vehicle.
TransLink says its automatic scanning technology calculates the tolls for up to 26,000 vehicles crossing the bridge each day.
But heavy rain, splashing, tailgating and vehicles changing lanes can cause misreads, according to spokesman Ken Hardie.
"There are errors in probably about one per cent of the vehicles going over," said Hardie.
That equals an estimated 260 misreads reads a day.
Hardie says most mistakes are corrected before bills are sent out, but he still recommends people double-check their bills themselves.
Scanners mistake splashes for trailer
At least one commuter is also encouraging bridge users to pay close attention to their bills.
Randy Mennear crosses the Golden Ears bridge a couple of times a week and on his latest bill he noticed he was charged more for two crossings in April.
"$5.65 each as opposed to the normal rate, which is $2.80," he said.
Mennear said he got a refund and an explanation from TransLink that the scanners mistook the splashing behind his vehicle for a trailer.
He encourages all bridge users to scrutinize their bills, but also says TransLink should improve its system.
"They should definitely correct the problem," he said.
"I would have hoped they would have been a little more diligent before installing this system as to the conditions under which it would give false readings, he said.
The 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.
In the past drivers have complained the scanners were misreading their licence plates in the dark.
Translink says it's constantly updating scanning equipment and the corrections for the one per cent of false-reads that occur are usually done before bills are sent out.