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No peak-period toll rise on way for bridges

A new study suggests for peak-period tolling to substantially cut down congestion on one of the two Halifax harbour bridges, toll prices would need to increase by 1,000 per cent.

A new study suggests for peak-period tolling to substantially cut down congestion on one of the two Halifax harbour bridges, toll prices would need to increase by 1,000 per cent.

But commuters, rest easy, Halifax Harbour Bridges says it isn’t going down this road.

In fact, peak-period tolling is off the table — for now — as a possible way to cut down on bridge congestion because of the results of this survey prepared for and released yesterday by Halifax Harbour Bridges.

Any peak-period tolling would be for crossings between 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

“We’ve done a nice piece of work and we’ve answered a question we’ve long wondered about, but at this stage of the game, peak-period tolling is not in play,” Steve Snider, the general manager and CEO of HHB, said yesterday.

According to the online survey — which Snider said had close to 10,000 people participate — taking the current 60 cent MacPass toll and increasing it to $6 for peak periods, auto traffic would go down by 45 per cent.

Cut that increase in half to $3, bridge congestion would drop by 15 per cent, but Snider said the decrease wouldn’t be noticed much by drivers.

“Another thing is given the level of traffic increases, the benefit of that gain could very well disappear within three to four years,” he said.

Forty per cent of bridge traffic, according to HHB, takes place during the morning and afternoon peak periods.

 
 
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