Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Road Toll Plan Not Stalled: Montreal

Jacques Cartier Bridge Jacques Cartier Bridge, Montreal, Canada

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - A plan to establish a system of regional road tolls that would collect revenue to pay for improved public transit isn't dead, the Montreal executive committee member responsible for transportation says.

But André Lavallée described the plan as a "work in progress" that will take at least two years to implement.

Representatives of the city and the Quebec government are to visit London and Milan this year to see how toll collection systems function in those cities, he added.

"We want to look at what worked and what didn't - the best practices, if you will," he said in an interview. "We want to develop this idea. We presented a vision. Now we want to develop a strategic approach" to tolls.

That approach has received a frosty reception from mayors of the suburbs surrounding Montreal even though the city has changed its toll scheme from a unilateral collection system aimed at motorists crossing into the city to a regional version in which revenues would be shared with other municipalities.

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