Borden-Carlteton — Instead of uniformly raising the already steep toll on the Confederation Bridge again this year, Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd., in agreement with the federal government, is planning to implement a new payment system where vehicles and drivers will be assessed individually and assigned a toll that’s deemed appropriate based their circumstances.
“Essentially, it’ll be whatever you can afford. Or I guess what we determine you can probably afford, judging by how things appear at the time,” said toll worker Aaron Linkletter.
“For example if you pull up to the booth in a Ferrari, you can bet you’ll be paying a hundred, two hundred bucks, easy, instead of the regular forty-seven. But if you want to make the case for why you should be let off with a five-buck toll — like if that’s all you’ve got and you need to get off the Island quick because someone’s trying to kill you — we’ll hear you out. Fair is fair.”
Many are pleased with the new payment system.
“For once, being broke might work to my advantage!” exclaimed unemployed Summerside man Trent Matthews. “Not only is my car an old junker, but half the time I don’t wear a shirt and I need a haircut in a bad way. There’s no way they can look me in the eye and charge me full price. You’d have to be some kinda heartless.”
“I figure it’ll be easy to get off with a cheap trip over the bridge — it’s like talking your way out of a speeding ticket, which I’m pretty darn good at,” said Monctonian Kylie Hayes, who makes regular trips to Prince Edward Island to visit family.
“I can flirt my way across the bridge,” she added, winking and flipping her hair. “If that doesn’t work, I’ll just start crying.”
Some well-off people are protesting the move, calling it reverse discrimination.
“So what, because I look pretty, have nice makeup and clothes and a new car, I could have to pay the hard-earned money my husband makes?” cried Charlottetown resident Sharon Mackleson. “What’s the point of being rich if we have to pay more just so poor people get a break? This is a democracy, for god’s sake!”
Regardless of your opinion on the new system, it’s set to take effect Jan. 1, so Maritimers are encouraged to prepare by getting really good at coming up with sob stories, or by trading in their nice vehicle for a crappy 2002 Toyota Corolla with the bumper secured with duct tape.