|Authored by:||Gena Gibbs|
|Source:||Bahamas Information Services|
|Date:||April 5, 2016|
NASSAU, The Bahamas — The Bridge Authority, which is responsible for the two bridges connecting New Providence to Paradise Island, has announced bridge toll increases effective May 1, 2016. The Hon. D. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour, National Insurance and the Public Service, who also holds responsibility for the Bridge Authority, announced in the House of Assembly, on March 30th, the increases in bridge tolls.
Minister Gibson said: “During the past several months, the Bridge Authority has embarked on a number of projects and initiatives, including the Paradise Island (East) Bridge Repair and Strengthening Scheme. The Bridge Authority completed the tendering process for rehabilitative works on the Paradise Island East Bridge and selected Island Site Development (ISD) to carry out work, which began on February 29th, 2016. The Bridge Authority secured funding through Central Bank, for a Share Bond Offering, in the amount of $6 Million to carry out the rehabilitative repairs on the Paradise Island East Bridge.
“Market Research indicated that TBA’s current Toll Fare was extremely low when compared to Toll Fare of bridges around the world. In addition, TBA is seeking to Design and Implement a Weight Enforcement System on both bridges.
“To effect these changes, TBA sought and received Cabinet’s approval for the increase in toll charges, which take effect May 1st, 2016.”
Minister Gibson said the Taxi fare will be raised from $1 to $3; private vehicles fare will be raised from $1 to $2; Regular Sized Commercial Vehicles Under Seven Feet Tall will be raised from $1 to $2; Large Commercial Vehicles over Seven Feet Tall will be raised from $2 to $4; Commercial Vehicles with Three Axles or more will be raised from $3 to a price determined by weight; Employees of businesses located on Paradise Island, up to 26 crossings per month ($0.50 of which is payable by employers) will be raised from $0.75 to $1.50; Resident Pass (per year) will be raised from $250 to $500 per year; Motorcycles & Bicycles from $1 to $2; and Pedestrians will continue to not be charged for crossing the bridge by foot.
“TBA commenced the collection of Value Added Tax on January 1st, 2015 on Smart Cards & Transponders. However, it is currently absorbing VAT on the cash collected in the lanes,” said Minister Gibson.
“Through its Labour Consultant, TBA commenced negotiations with the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) towards a new Industrial Agreement, which will be for a five-year period of October 1st, 2014 to September 30th, 2019, assisting in improving benefits and working relations for the hard working staff of TBA.”