On Tuesday, the Albertan government introduced a new bill that could see some routes around the province becoming toll highways. It’s called the Financing Alberta’s Strategic Transportation (FAST) Act, or, more formally, Bill 43. Here’s the scoop.
The basic idea is that the government has limited funding to build new transportation infrastructure. Rather than raise taxes or rearrange the budget, the idea has been floated that toll highways might fix the problem. A toll highway would be created to help fund a specific project in the province. Once that project has been built, the toll is removed.
There are a few more things to note as well. The highways would all have to have alternate routes (although how much longer that route takes hasn’t been specified). It’s also saying that Albertans should be ‘engaged’ before a toll is put in place, and that tolling would be ‘suspended’ if it is in the public interest.
But, this is the first time the bill has been brought forward. So, fingers crossed that these caveats remain in place if the bill does get passed. Otherwise, Alberta might become just a little more expensive to drive around. We’ll keep you posted as updates come along.
If you’d like to check out Bill 43 in full, just click here. Safe and cheap travels out there, folks!