Ambassador Bridge, being an overpriced international land-based border crossing already, is implementing a toll increase. As per the Ambassador Bridge website, the price escalation officially is in effect as of August 15th. The charge at customs for motorcycles, cars, vans, and empty trucks was raised from $4.75 to $5.00. Also there will be higher tolls for buses, larger cars, and delivery trucks. Electronic tolls at the bridge will remain at $3.85, and there is no longer a pricing difference if fees are paid in Canadian fund versus U.S. moneys.
Send More Traffic to the Tunnel
Although bridge officials are administering this toll increase to generate revenue for much-needed bridge maintenance, users actually feel it will do the opposite. Experienced customs brokers are predicting this rate hike will result in an increase in tunnel traffic instead. The rates at the Canadian/U.S. tunnel will remain at $4.75 when you are crossing from Detroit to Windsor and $4.50 going from Windsor to Detroit.
Less Cross-Border Traffic
Higher toll rates also mean that cross-border shopping won’t be as cost-feasible, which includes the personal delivery of online purchases. Many eBay customers who live close to the border will drive their shipments across the bridge to save on delivery charges and customs brokerage fees. Paying the extra $0.50 per trip will discourage these independent deliveries, as it would be less expensive to hire a delivery service and use a Customs broker than pay the $10 in toll, plus gas, every time you need to bring a shipment across the border.
Less Traffic Means Less Revenue
More use of the tunnel, fewer personal deliveries, and a reduction in cross-border shopping could easily become a greater loss to the Ambassador Bridge than the extra $0.25 they will receive per crossing. Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse is a well known critic of how the border is being managed commented that it is “an additional border tax that will take money out of the pockets of travelers, commuters, and businesses.”
Brian Masse is demanding that this toll hike be scrutinized by an independent third party to ensure the rate increase is justified. Bridge traffic has been steadily increasing and this additional charge can hinder that growth. Instead of implementing a rate increase, many users feel that more focus should be placed on reducing wait times, because that appears to be the greatest concern of frequent cross-border travelers.
Dilas International Customs Broker maintains a watchful eye on everything that is happening at Canadian/ U.S. border crossings so we can keep our clients informed. If you have any concerns on the toll increase or any questions on our international customs brokerage services, please do not hesitate to contact any of our knowledgeable brokers.
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