Confederation Bridge users have mixed feelings toward cashless overnight crossings
Some Islanders say removing cash payment at any hour is unfair, premature
Bridge crossers have mixed reaction toward only being able to pay with debit, credit or gift cards during the overnight hours.
Strait Crossing, the company that operates the bridge, is about halfway through a 30-day pilot project where it's having toll operators ask drivers how they would feel about doing just that.
- Confederation Bridge considers card-only payments on overnight crossings
- Tackling tolls: Could Confederation Bridge ever be free to cross?
The general manager of the company, Michel Le Chasseur, said toll operators reported only eight cash transactions on average during the overnight hours, but he didn't say how many transactions there were in total.
That has them asking drivers if having an overnight attendant to receive cash payments is worth it.
Michael Reid from DeSable, P.E.I., said the bridge going card-only doesn't bother him.
"It's not a problem for me," Reid said. "Cash is not really as pervasive at it was and most people use credit card anyway."
'Let's make it available to everybody'
Al Coady from St. Catherines, P.E.I., said he also typically pays with card, but thinks a cashless system would be unfair for some drivers.
"Let's have that cash option available because cash is our legal tender in Canada still and until they really change that, then let's make it available to everybody," he said.
According to the Bank of Canada's website, while banknotes (bills) are classified as legal tender, a retailer doesn't have to accept them "because both parties must agree on the payment method. The fact that banknotes are legal tender does not mean that there is a legal obligation to accept them."
Coady said he's also concerned that eliminating the cash-payment option would mean the elimination of someone's job at Strait Crossing.
But his wife, Catherine Coady disagreed, saying that having someone in the toll booth throughout the night is likely dangerous.
"Most people don't carry cash anymore anyway," she said.
'I'm not a fan of using credit cards'
Jenny Neath is from Ontario, but is visiting P.E.I. for the winter. She's made several trips across the bridge in her lifetime, and thinks that the bridge should accept cash payments at all hours.
"I would be in strong disagreement," she said. "I'm not a fan of using credit cards, especially at random outlets or machinery."
Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., resident Sarah Bennetto O'Brien said while she normally pays by card, going cashless at any hour is premature.
"I feel like we're not quite at that point of the future yet where it's just cards," she said.
Bennetto O'Brien added that removing a cash payment option could leave drivers stranded on the wrong side of the bridge and that she'd like to see more public consultation before a decision is made.
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Lace 'em up: Free public skates available across P.E.I.
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Where's the rest of the plan for legalized pot? P.E.I. Opposition wonders