New smartphone app, new Canadian currency toll at International Bridge

Contact: Dan Weingarten, MDOT Office of Communications,
 weingartend2@michigan.gov
906-485-6322, ext. 136
Agency: Transportation

March 26, 2015 -- With the U.S. dollar's continuing strength, International Bridge customers paying with Canadian currency will see the toll rate increased, while the U.S. rates remain unchanged. Bridge customers will have added convenience for viewing wait times and toll rates with an app for mobile devices.

The toll changes, effective Wednesday, April 1, are the result of the twice yearly currency exchange review done by bridge officials. Based on the average exchange rates from the past six months, the passenger vehicle rate for Canadian currency will be increased from $3.80 to $4.10. The Canadian currency commuter (Prox card) rate will increase to $2.90. The U.S. passenger vehicle rate remains steady at $3.50, and the commuter (Prox card) rate at $2.45 per crossing.

"With the required, semi-annual currency equity review, all other Canadian currency toll rates will be impacted as well," said Phil Becker, International Bridge Administration (IBA) general manager.

The intergovernmental agreement governing bridge operations mandates that Canadian currency toll rates be adjusted every April and October, if the difference in the average currency exchange rate is large enough. Using U.S. currency as the benchmark, the IBA is required to keep toll equity to within 5 cents relative to currency exchange rates.

To keep customers up to date on toll rates and other bridge information, the IBA has been working on a new app for mobile devices during the latter half of 2014. IBA Chief Financial Officer Peter Petainen announced the app is now available for public download.

The multifaceted mobile program provides access to public bridge webcams, provides updated current wait times for both sides of the bridge, gives current toll rates in both U.S. and Canadian currencies, and allows for in-app notifications directly from the bridge.

"Much of this functionality is already available online at www.saultbridge.com, but our goal was to put bridge traffic cameras and wait time information in a format that customers with smartphones could easily use," Petainen said. "That, in turn, will help them make informed cross-border travel plans."

The app is available for iPhone and Android operating systems, and is a free download from the iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sault-bridge/id962615197?mt=8) app store.

The operation and maintenance of the International Bridge is totally self-funded, primarily through bridge tolls, and is not subsidized by any state, provincial or federal government entity. For a complete list of International Bridge tolls, visit the IBA Web site at www.michigan.gov/IBA. For more information, please visit www.saultbridge.com or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/saultbridge.

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