Halifax-Dartmouth bridge tolls to go up April 1
Buses exempt to boost transit
The bridge toll increase, requested by the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission, was approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in a decision released Thursday.
Drivers who pay with cash will pay $1 to cross the bridge on April 1 — an increase of 25 cents.
MACPASS users will have their fee increase phased in over two years. On April 1, each bridge crossing will cost 70 cents, an increase of 10 cents. The fee will increase another 10 cents on April 1, 2012, making the fee 80 cents next year.
"The board is mindful that some may perceive that HDBC's cash paying customers are being disadvantaged by a more immediate increase in tolls," the board wrote in its decision.
"However, it notes that customers can mitigate this increase by using MACPASS."
There are no price changes for buses, including the Access-A-Bus, in order to encourage the use of public transit over the bridges.
The Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission applied for the increase in July, saying they needed money to undertake a large capital and restoration project on the Macdonald Bridge. The largest project is replacing the deck of the Macdonald Bridge at an estimated cost of $137 million.
"The board accepts the projections of the commission as being a reasonable representation of the future cash flow requirements for the operations of HDBC," the board wrote.
"The board accepts that the largest portion of the requested toll increase is to cover the financing of the expected costs of the deck replacement of the Macdonald Bridge."
The bridge tolls were last increased in 1992.