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Montreal eyes road tolls worth $450M

June 6, 2008 at 11:13 AM

MONTREAL, June 6 (UPI) -- The mayor of Montreal says he's pushing for road tolls that could generate as much as $450 million per year for public transportation.

Mayor Gerald Tremblay, in a speech Thursday to a regional transit association, said it would cost $300 million to purchase and set up the system that photographs license plates and then bills vehicle owners by mail, The Gazette in Montreal reported.

The plan would bill vehicles entering the region or crossing bridges to Montreal Island, but not when they depart, Tremblay said. Emergency vehicles, taxis and buses would be exempt under the plan, which a committee will debate in the fall, he said.

Tremblay's $8.1-billion, 20-year transportation plan hit snags when both the provincial and federal governments refused fee and tax sharing, the report said.

"We want to citizens to understand that we cannot continue to lose a billion dollars in gridlock," Tremblay told the conference. "Every time we invest a dollar in our infrastructures, we generate a productivity gain for businesses of 17 cents."

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