Windsor

Starting Thursday, essential workers can cross the Ambassador Bridge for free

As of Thursday, May 21, any essential worker travelling across the Ambassador Bridge into or out of Canada will be able to cross without paying a toll. 

Canadian Transit Company, owned by the Moroun family, to cover expenses

On Tuesday, May 19, Canada and the U.S. extended for another 30 days the travel restrictions between the borders of both countries. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

As of Thursday, May 21, any essential worker travelling across the Ambassador Bridge into or out of Canada will be able to cross without paying a toll. 

The Canadian Transit Company — owned by the Moroun family — will cover the cost of toll fees. 

Matthew Moroun, chairman of the privately-owned bridge, said these workers are "the true heroes" of the pandemic.

"Life and death matters are in their hands, and with Windsor being the home to a lot of those medical professionals, and I know that they're crossing the bridge every day — my family's bridge — it made sense to take care of the toll for them, and if there is a small burden that we can reduce from their lives, then we're going to do it."

Moroun acknowledges they may be late in making this gesture, but he says it's "better late than never." He expects the free tolls will continue until governments decide to reopen the border to other travelers.

"We appreciate the men and women on the front lines who are working to keep us safe," said Manuel (Matty) Moroun, the billionaire who owns the Ambassador Bridge, in a media release. "We wanted to take this action to try to alleviate some of the stress of a daily commute for essential workers who cross our bridge ever day. This is a small thing we can do to show that we see your daily sacrifice and we are grateful."

Canada and the U.S. agreed in late March to restrict travel across the border between both countries to essential workers only — including health-care professionals and truck drivers. 

The agreement was extended in late April by 30 days, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday another 30-day extension. 

In the same media release, Ambassador Bridge president Dan Stamper said "nurses and other critical infrastructure employees need all of the support we can provide at this time."

"This is the right thing to do under the circumstances."

The Moroun family will continue to cover toll costs depending on "future developments and circumstances," according to the media release. 

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