A Year Later, Residents Still Oppose Port Mann Toll But Keep Using Bridge

One-in-four residents are driving over the bridge less often than they did a year ago, while almost half of frequent users rely on it as they always have.

Vancouver, BC –The Port Mann Bridge toll, which is scheduled to increase in January, is still a divisive issue in Metro Vancouver, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley residents shows that 37% are in favour of the Port Mann Bridge toll going to $3.00 per crossing. This represents a 14-point drop since a similar Insights West poll conducted in December 2012, when the toll was $1.50. Conversely, opposition to the toll has increased, from 45% last year to 56% today.

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Like last year, opposition to the toll is still more significant south of the Fraser.  Almost three quarters of residents who use the bridge once a week or more (72%) are opposed to the toll, along with 57% who rely on the bridge one to three times a month.

“Despite one year of satisfactory usage of the Port Mann Bridge, the issue of tolling remains contentious and opposition to the tolls has intensified,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “With an increase coming up, some residents are finding alternatives to avoid the bridge.”

The proportion of residents who plan to use the Port Mann Bridge as usual with the new toll has dropped, from 52% last year to 36% now. People are continuing to look at different ways to avoid the toll. For 2014, 31% will actively seek new routes, up five points since last year when the toll was $1.50. In addition, one-in-four residents (23%) say they will drive over the bridge less often, down 10 points since last year.

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An analysis of drivers who use the Port Mann Bridge once a week or more reveals that almost half (48%) will continue to use the bridge as usual and just pay the toll.

“Some casual drivers have already chosen other routes, such as the Pattullo Bridge, in order to save some cash,” says Canseco. “Still, practically half of heavy Port Mann Bridge users are just going to carry on when the toll goes up.”

Last year, 10% of Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley residents said they did not use the Port Mann Bridge at all in the previous 12 months—a proportion that has increased to 22% this year.

 

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 26 to December 3, 2013, among 690 Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley residents who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Torben Bjørn Hansen