International Bridge customers paying Canadian currency will see the toll rate adjusted due to the current value of the Canadian dollar. The changes, effective Monday, Oct. 1, are a result of the mandated exchange review conducted by bridge officials twice each year. The U.S. fare will remain unchanged at $3.50.
Starting Oct. 1, the passenger vehicle rate for Canadian currency will change from $4.40 to $4.50. The three-tiered U.S. commuter rates are unchanged at $2.45, $2.80, and $3.15. Canadian currency commuter rates will be $4.05, $3.60, and $3.15. The International Bridge Authority’s (IBA) Prox card commuter discount program is based on the number of one-way crossings on each account.
Customers with Prox commuter accounts have online access and payment options, while receiving discounts up to 30 percent off the regular cash rate. Discounts are based on the number of crossings in the previous 30 days. Commuter account balances do not expire.
“Since 2002, to maintain compliance with the bridge authority’s Canada/U.S. operating agreement, the rates are reviewed each April and October,” said Peter Petainen, IBA general manager. “This is a mandatory adjustment due to changes in the value between the U.S. and Canadian dollars.”
IBA officials stress that much of the bridge’s toll revenue is funneled back into the community, making the bridge not just a connector between the twin cities but also a major economic driver on both sides of the border. The operation and maintenance of the International Bridge is totally self-funded, primarily through bridge tolls. It is not subsidized by any state, provincial or federal government entity.
“The toll revenue we collect is not just used to maintain the excellent condition of the bridge and fund our operations,” said IBA Chief Financial Officer Crystal Knutsen. “Through payroll and purchases, we put about $9.1 million back into the local economy on an annual basis, split between both Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.”
Knutsen also points out that the bridge continues to see an increase in overall traffic – up 6.7 percent year to date from 2017. “That’s good news,” Knutsen said. “Increased traffic and toll revenues will mean we won’t have to tap into remaining fund reserves to meet our operating budget. We also can start to rebuild those reserves, which we used to fund the painting of the Canadian arch last year – a crucial project needed to protect the bridge steel.”
For a complete list of International Bridge tolls, visit the IBA website at www.michigan.gov/iba. For more information on the International Bridge, please visit www.saultbridge.com or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/saultbridge.