Officials are promising the Highway 30 toll system that goes into effect next week will not experience the glitches of Highway 25.
The two systems are run by different private consortiums.
Since the Montreal-Laval Highway 25 bridge opened 18 months ago, some motorists have complained of hidden administrative charges; others have been surprised by bills in the mail, not realizing the bridge had tolls.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, the $1.5-billion Highway 30 ring road south of Montreal Island will open. Maintained and operated by a private consortium, it will feature a toll bridge, linking Salaberry de Valleyfield and Les Cèdres.
The toll will be $1.50 for cars. For trucks, it will cost $1.15 per axle.
At a media briefing about the toll system Wednesday, Denis Léonard, director-general of the Nouvelle Autoroute 30 consortium, was asked about the complaints regarding Highway 25.
“Our system is different,” Léonard answered.
On the Highway 25 bridge, motorists pay via a transponder that debits their account every time they cross, or they get a bill in the mail after their licence plate is photographed. Those billed by mail pay the toll, plus a $5 administrative fee.
It uses a no-stopping system. There are no toll booths so users can’t pay using cash or credit cards.
In contrast, the Highway 30 bridge, officially known as the Pont Serge-Marcil, will feature toll booths and barriers, Léonard said.
“With us, people will pay on the spot so there won’t be a bill sent out and there won’t be any administrative charges,” he said.
Drivers with transponders will slow to 20 kilometres per hour; once their account has been debited, the barrier will lift. Motorists will also be able to pay tolls in cash or by credit card. Some booths will feature attendants.
The tollbooth area, in Les Cèdres, will feature seven lanes in each direction, including one reserved for vehicles with transponders.
Cyclists and pedestrians will not be allowed on the Highway 30 bridge.
The toll systems for the 25 and the 30 are distinct because the settings are different, said Transport Quebec official Sandra Sultana.
Highway 25 is in a congested urban area so it required an electronic system that ensured traffic fluidity, she said.
On Highway 30, set in a semi-rural area, traffic will be lighter, so a hybrid system — electronic transponders, as well as toll booths — won’t be a problem, Sultana said.
For now, motorists won’t be able to use the same transponder on both the 25 and the 30. By next summer, however, users will be able to use a single transponder, Sultana said.
But she said Transport Quebec has no plans to integrate its system with the E-Z Pass electronic toll collection system, used by 14 U.S. states.
Highway 30 transponders will go on sale Friday. For information, visit a30express.com or call 514-782-0800.