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New West mayor says toll-free Port Mann already helping congestion

Click to play video: 'Bridge traffic before and after Port Mann tolls end' Bridge traffic before and after Port Mann tolls end
WATCH: Tolls on the Port Mann Bridge and the Golden Ears Bridge officially end today. Motorists are being told to settle up their final bills. Jay Durant reports – Sep 6, 2017

Tolls on the Port Mann Bridge have only been gone for almost a week and New Westminister’s mayor says congestion on the Pattullo Bridge has already improved.

Jonathan Cote said there are no official numbers yet, but he’s already noticed a shift in traffic.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP eliminating Golden Ears and Port Mann bridge tolls starting Sept. 1

“I think that definitely reinforces what the city of New Westminster has been saying for a long time: that the previous tolling system was kind of done haphazardly,” he said.

“[Tolls were] kind of redistributing traffic in the region in a way that wasn’t overly equitable and was actually creating congestion points in different parts.”
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WATCH: Possible taxation models to replace Metro Vancouver bridge tolls

Click to play video: 'Possible taxation models to replace Metro Vancouver bridge tolls' Possible taxation models to replace Metro Vancouver bridge tolls
Possible taxation models to replace Metro Vancouver bridge tolls – Aug 28, 2017

Cote said he’ll be anxious to hear from the mobility pricing commission as it undertakes research on a “fairer” approach to pricing transportation.

READ MORE: B.C. could see alternative road pricing after elimination of bridge tolls

Meanwhile, TransLink has announced new bus services for Metro Vancouver suburbs.

Changes to fall service include more than 100,000 hours of new bus services, including new routes in Maple Ridge, Morgan Creek, and Clayton Heights.

WATCH: TransLink expands suburban service

Click to play video: 'TransLink expands suburban service' TransLink expands suburban service
TransLink expands suburban service – Sep 6, 2017

By 2019, TransLink will also be introducing four new “B” line routes, including one on Marine Drive in North Vancouver.

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LISTEN: Reporter Janet Brown joins Simi Sara to discuss bridge tolls

The company will also be testing double-decker buses later this year.

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