Tuesday, November 23, 2010

HHB Toll Increase

     There is a recent news report about the Toll hike for the bridges connecting Halifax and Dartmouth Nova Scotia ("Hearings into proposed bridge toll hike underway"), the current rate for crossing either of the bridges is $0.75 + $0.25/axle ($0.60 + $0.20 if using a MacPass) for a one way trip for a Passenger Vehicle, for a Over sized Vehicle (Anything with more than 2 tires per Axle) is $1.00 ($0.875 if using a MacPass), Buses are charged $2.50 ($1.20 if using a MacPass), "Source".

     As it is now the Bridge Commision already allocates 14.82% of their total income towards Maintenance Expenses, In 2005 the average number of vehicle crossings per day was 37,739, the information listed on page 18 of the HHB "Planning & Partnerships Annual Report 2009-10 "Maintenance expenses decreased by $1,249 in Q4 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. Annual maintenance expenses decreased by $3,936 to $3,736 in 2009/2010 from $7,672 for the same period in 2008/2009. The significant decrease in bridge maintenance is attributable to the Victoria Road Interchange maintenance project expenses that occurred during the year ended March 31, 2009." and they had a Annual toll revenue for 2009/2010 of $24,251.

     So why is it that they have to raise their rates for people that need to cross the Harbour to make a living, this is not only for professional people, but also for other services such as Taxi's and couriers and other services, if the rates do increase for travel across the bridges, then that would lead to the other services would have to increase their rates as well.

     So 1 small change to this service will effect more than just their traffic across the bridges and the congestion but also the other services that use the bridge's as well. I say that there is no need to raise the rate('s) for the use of the bridges.

     I say that if they want to be able to have more money, have them turn the lights off that they installed back in 1999, at that time the estimated cost for those lights to be used was $50,000.00 a year; and with the possible rate increase from Nova Scotia Power industrial rates by as much as 18% (residential rates by 12%) ("Source").

What are your thoughts on this, for me I say no, the increase is not needed and should not be allowed to pass.

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