Toll operators at the Confederation Bridge are asking drivers how they'd feel about the fixed link only accepting debit, credit and gift card payments during the overnight hours.

This is part of a 30-day pilot project that began Nov. 21.

Michel LeChasseur, general manager of Straight Crossing, the company that operates the bridge, said toll operators reported only eight cash transactions on average during the overnight hours.

He said the project is just to gauge feedback and for "feeling out what works and what doesn't" regarding non-cash payments that would only be in effect from October to the end of May.

'It really disturbs me, Mr. Speaker. This bridge is in essence owned by the people of Canada.' — Richard Brown

Currently, there is only one toll operator stationed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. with just two lanes that have tap and go — which take debit, credit and gift cards.

If Straight Crossing decides they want to pursue overnight card-only payments, they will have to make a submission to Transport Canada.

MLAs frustrated with the idea

Government House Leader Richard Brown and Transportation Minister Paula Biggar denounced the idea in legislature on Friday.

"It really disturbs me, Mr. Speaker. This bridge is in essence owned by the people of Canada," Brown said during question period.

"How does somebody show up at 5 o'clock in the morning, Mr. Speaker, have to go to a medical appointment … and they have no credit card, how do they get across the fixed link?"

Government of P.E.I.

Government House Leader Richard Brown raised concerns about the Confederation Bridge going to a card-only payment system in the overnight hours. (Government of P.E.I.)

After question period, Paula Biggar told CBC she'd be speaking with Marc Garneau, the federal minister of transportation, expressing her desire to keep the bridge "accessible at all times with all modes." 

"I'm concerned ... that it could restrict access for anyone who needs to use the bridge," she said.

"I'll be writing a letter in that regard."