Port Mann Bridge traffic
The Port Mann Bridge is one of Metro Vancouver’s major Fraser River crossings and the region’s primary east-west economic corridor for both commercial and commuter traffic.
The new Port Mann Bridge opened and tolling commenced on December 1, 2012 as part of the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project. The new bridge replaced the aging five-lane structure and put an end to 14 hours a day of congestion, the worst traffic bottleneck in British Columbia.
The bridge and highway improvements are being paid for entirely by tolls. Tolls make it possible to build this project today without increasing taxes.
What are traffic volumes like on the Port Mann Bridge?
Traffic volumes on the Port Mann Bridge have been rebounding as drivers take advantage of the improved corridor’s significant time savings over alternate routes.
Average weekday traffic in 2015 was five per cent higher than in 2014.
This growth in traffic is not just in the peak periods, when time savings are most pronounced and increased traffic has been well established, but all through the day. More people are driving the bridge during mid-days, evenings and on weekends, too.
This period of growth comes after a long period of fluctuation in traffic volumes. Regular toll rates took effect in January 2014. Up to that point, many drivers had been taking advantage of a low introductory toll rate. At the same time, the new South Fraser Perimeter Road opened, providing fast and convenient access to three other Fraser River crossings – The Pattullo Bridge, the Alex Fraser Bridge and the George Massey Tunnel.
With the change in toll rates and the new options available to drivers, traffic fluctuated for a number of months through 2014. We’re seeing growth as drivers return to the Port Mann Bridge.
Traffic volumes fluctuate season-by-season. Traffic is typically at its highest during the summer and trends downwards through the fall and winter. The Port Mann Bridge follows this same trend.
|Total Monthly Traffic (Millions)||2014||2015||2016|
How has traffic changed since tolling was implemented?
Commuters are saving significant time on the new Port Mann Bridge and improved Highway 1. Travel time surveys have confirmed many drivers have cut their commute in half, saving 40 minutes per day.
Commuters heading from Surrey to Coquitlam save a significant amount of time as well. Compared to their commute in 2012, a round trip now saves them 30 minutes a day.
During peak periods, the new capacity and time savings on the Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 have led to higher traffic volumes during the morning and evening rush hours. Westbound morning rush hour volumes are up six per cent over 2014 and eastbound evening rush hour volumes are up five per cent.
The morning rush hour is also happening later. Because drivers are saving significant time in the mornings, they’re starting their commutes an hour later. Morning peak volume now happens at 7 AM, not 6 AM as in 2013.
Are traffic numbers meeting expectations?
Traffic volumes on the Port Mann Bridge are rebounding. They have stabilized and are growing. With more than three years of actual, observed traffic data from the start of tolling, TI Corp has been able to update its traffic projections. These estimates consider traffic volumes as well as economic and population factors for the Metro Vancouver region. A significant factor in the projection is the expectation of almost one million people to come to the region in the next 30 years, with much of that growth happening around the area of the bridge.
The forecast expects continual, long-term traffic growth on the Port Mann Bridge at a rate of about 2% per year.
These projections confirm TI Corp’s long-term financial outlook and its ability to repay the project debt by 2050 with no taxpayer support.
Where can I get more detailed traffic information?
As part of the Provincial Highway system, traffic data for the Port Mann Bridge is available on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Traffic Data web page. Data for all bridges is posted quarterly.