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Reflecting on the Golden Ears Bridge

Reflecting on the Golden Ears Bridge

The Golden Ears Bridge has been open for nearly two and a half years now. The bridge is the first electronic toll bridge in Western Canada. It was built to connect the communities of Surrey and Langley to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, reduce the time it normally takes for people to commute from these communities, and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by unnecessary idling and longer-than-necessary trip lengths.

This video shows a real family comparing the difference in commuting times between taking the Golden Ears Bridge and Port Mann Bridge. Please keep in mind that the tolls have increased slightly of late. Today, the toll for this trip would be $2.90 instead of $2.80. Here’s a link to the current toll rates.

Drivers have been slowly changing their routes between these communities to include the Golden Ears Bridge since it opened in June 2009.

Here are some useful figures:

  • The bridge is currently serving 30,000 trips each weekday and about 10 million trips annually.
  • The number of 2011 trips is currently 13 percent higher than the 2010 trips for the equivalent time period.
  • August and September 2011 recorded the two highest number of monthly trips to date in the history of the bridge.  In August, there were more than 916,000 bridge trips , and in September, there were more than 875,000 bridge trips.

The increase in the number of people using the bridge is encouraging. While I know from the Buzzer blog reader survey we did in May that most readers commute to work using transit, we’d still like to hear your thoughts about the Bridge.

Have you used the Bridge since it opened? Did it help make your trip more convenient? Was the toll that you paid good value for the reduced trip length and reduced emissions? Are you planning to use the Bridge more frequently in the future?  Any of your thoughts about the Golden Ears Bridge are welcome!