Drivers still owe $33M on Lower Mainland bridge tolls

Authorities say a driver with outstanding bills may not be allowed to renew their driver’s license or buy insurance.

$18M owed on Golden Ears Bridge tolls; $15M still outstanding on Port Mann Bridge

Drivers still owe $15 million in outstanding tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge between Surrey and Coquitlam. (Manjula Dufresne/CBC)

The tolls may be gone now but B.C. drivers still owe about $33 million dollars for driving across the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.

Drivers owe $18 million for tolls on the Golden Ears and $15 million is still outstanding on the Port Mann.

Authorities say a driver with outstanding bills may not be allowed to renew their driver's licence or buy insurance.

Jill Drews, spokesperson for Golden Ears operator TransLink, says some delinquent accounts are even being sent to collections.

"There are cases where perhaps withholding insurance may not motivate the person to pay the bill," Drews said. "This is something we're moving into as the collection phase wraps up."

A Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson said that progress is being made in collecting outstanding Port Mann tolls, which totalled $45 million seven months ago.

She said the Crown corporation in charge of the bridge is receiving almost 300 calls each day from drivers who want to pay their bills and advised patience when calling in to pay.

The tolls were removed on Sept. 1, 2017. Lifting them was a key election promise by the NDP during the 2017 provincial election campaign.

Anyone with an outstanding bill for the Golden Ears Bridge can pay on TransLink's website.

Port Mann Bridge tolls can be paid on TreO's website.

With files from Ethan Sawyer