The province reduced toll prices for the new Port Mann Bridge by 50 per cent Wednesday, in what is a temporary reprieve for motorists that will last for three months.
The new toll is set at $1.50 and goes into effect in December. The price break will remain in place until Feb. 28. The toll was originally slated to be $3.
"The new Port Mann Bridge will open in just a few short months, and when it does, drivers will be able to cut their commutes in half," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Mary Polak in a news release.
"Some drivers will have an extra hour a day to spend time with family and friends, rather than wasting their days in traffic."
The $1.50 toll will apply to cars, pickups, trucks and SUVs only. Cars pulling trailers and light trucks will be charged $4.50, while semi and tractor trailers will pay $9 and motorcyclists will be charged $1.
Motorists who opt for a free windshield decal and tolling account by Feb. 28, 2013 will be guaranteed the half-price introductory toll rate for the first year. Those who sign up before Nov. 30, 2012 will receive a $30 credit on their account.
"We do have to figure out how to fund continued improvements in transportation, and one of the discussion points is always road pricing," said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart.
"I think this does allow for people to be eased into it and to some extent, get a feel for a mechanism that is used everywhere else in the world."
The technology that will be used to process the tolls is referred to as TReO, a system designed to cover toll registration, account management, payment and customer service needs. Drivers will be given free decals to track their trips, while vehicles without decals will be monitored via a licence plate camera system.
Those registered through the decal system will be charged via credit card, while drivers who aren't registered can pay at a kiosk either before or after they cross the bridge, or either online or by phone later.
Drivers without a decal will have seven days to pay.
"I was impressed by the way they are rolling in the tolls," said Simon Fraser University professor Gordon Price.
"It gives us a taste of the future. Road pricing is the way of the future, but politically and technologically, we've still got a ways to go. This begins to ease us in to it."