Confederation Bridge examines viability of self-service

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Confederation Bridge

BORDEN-CARLETON – Strait Crossing Bridge Limited has been given the go-ahead to assess the possibility of self-serve tolls.

Operators are examining the option for the overnight hours, but caution it is nothing more than research at this point.

“We asked for and received the authorization to study this matter,” said Michel Lechasseur, manager of the 12.9 kilometre-long Confederation Bridge that connects P.E.I. with the mainland.

The bridge currently has two automated self-serve tolls, and a toll operator in another booth.

Lechasseur said just like gas stations being self-serve, it’s all about sustainability and being a cost efficient business.

For those who are unsure of the idea, Lechasseur said any decision on switching to automated toll collection overnight will not be made in the immediate future.

“Right now, all we have is the authorization to do the study. Nothing else has been done.”

He also said it may not happen, as the bridge tollbooth workers often act as tourist guides to visitors.

“We need to maintain our services to the public.”

All the details will need to be figured out before a pilot project could begin.

Lechasseur estimated a plan of assessment wouldn’t be ready until August.

Even after the pilot program, it will need to be reviewed before a final decision could be made.



(TC Media)


Organizations: TC Media

Geographic location: BORDEN-CARLETON, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Anne smith
    April 11, 2014 - 15:11

    Am I the only one who looked at the picture !!! Am I seeing the pilar holding up the bridge is falling apart!!! Looks bad to me!like to get a look at the rest of them!

  • Yvonne
    April 11, 2014 - 11:00

    Many years ago I tried to use my cibc/presidents choice debit card...didn't work. Never tried again. Every time I go across I see someone trying the self serve and having to back out...sometimes with a few cars behind them. Pain in the a$$.

  • Jessica Vandenberg
    April 11, 2014 - 10:52

    Lower the Toll for Islanders. Disgusting how much it has gone up since I have arrived 10 years ago. What if the machine does not work in de middle of the night? How long will it be before help arrives? One truck Toll has been broken down for 6 months. And the money they are charging is not enough to pay an attendant?

  • islanderalso
    April 11, 2014 - 10:31

    The bridge authority took responsibility for building the bridge, manning it and setting the rates. Now they want to change the rules in their favour. we have seen this over and over again. My answer is no - live up to your end of the contract if you expect us to live up to ours.

    • nitpicker
      April 11, 2014 - 15:27

      Build, maintain, and set the rates, yes. But I'm pretty sure its not written anywhere that the booths must be manned.

  • mark
    April 11, 2014 - 09:38

    If someone knows the answer to this, let me know. Can the general public have an E Pass connected to their credit card like every other toll road in the world or is it just for business use?

    • mark
      April 11, 2014 - 11:47

      Never mind, anyone can get it. It is also linked to the Halifax bridges, Halifax int'l, and the cobequid pass.

  • The Observer from Stratford
    April 11, 2014 - 09:14

    @kim: That sounds good but where in our constitution is there a statement of such a right? The builders of the bridge were promised a good return on their investment for, I believe, 35 years. Until then and probably after for maintenance there will be tolls. Or perhaps you would agree to an increase in our taxes to make it look like the bridge is free?

  • Kim
    April 11, 2014 - 08:39

    As an Islander, it is my right to have FREE access to the mainland. Time to stop charging us such high fees for our constitutional right. Put the fees down for us and up for tourists.

    • Good Answer Kim
      April 11, 2014 - 09:54

      I totally agree with what you say - anyone with a PEI license plate should be able to get on and off the Island for free. We pay enough taxes to cover our share of the upkeep. I don't mind a toll of 5 or 6 dollars like other tolls in the maritmes, but close to 50 bucks per vehicle is highway robbery!!

    • Tracey
      April 11, 2014 - 12:44

      Where is this "right" documented? You are guaranteed a way to come and go from the Island buyt no where is it said EVER to be free. Did you get to take the ferry for free? More Island self entitlement, right there.

  • Michael O'Neil
    April 11, 2014 - 08:05

    I thought the toll booth workers interacted with people who were LEAVING the Island...?

    April 11, 2014 - 07:15

    Now that is a good one. I have an RBC debit card that won't work in the self-serve booth that is all ready there and twice have held up traffic because of this. The second time it took over 15 minutes before a worker from one of the manned booths get out and get the traffic lined up behind me to let me out and then a couple of people got through the self serve OK and the same thing happened again to another person before I made it through the manned booth. I think the Idea of putting in more of these unreliable self-serve tolls is a ridicules idea. I for one will not use the self service toll booths at the bridge again because of my experiences.

  • Stewart Smith
    April 11, 2014 - 07:15

    I tried to use the self-serve toll machine only once, and it wouldn't accept my credit card, and I haven't tried again since. What would you do if this happened at 4am???

  • Joe Blow
    April 10, 2014 - 18:55

    How about the Government steps in and frees us by eliminatating the fee altogether...toll bridge, toll ferry...Islanders are prisoners...forced to pay $50 to get access to decent shopping, decent restaurants, decent beer...the tolls maintain the local, sub-service business elite oligarchs who stiffle competition and innovation, while ratcheting up PEI prices at twice the rate as the rest of Canada.

  • BigGuy
    April 10, 2014 - 18:28

    Really most things are becoming self-serve in this day and age. As long as someone can use a debit or credit card, they can successfully get off the Island. Someone should tell Lechasseur that anyone going on the bridge doesn't need a "tour guide to visitors" because they have already left the Island. Perhaps they can be a tour guide for people heading to NB

  • PEI has failed us all .
    April 10, 2014 - 17:15

    More jobs going .We all might as well cross the bridge one last time shut the lights off and close the gate .

    • This Place Has Fail Us And the Rest of Canada is Moving Ahead
      April 11, 2014 - 14:25

      You Got That Right( PEI HAS FAILED US All. Just Look At The Roads The Worst in Canada. Just Look Around You Fast Food - Rental Buildings - And Retail Stores and Most of The Jobs are Part Time.