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Peace Bridge Authority Approves 2021 Budget and Establishes New Toll Rates to Encourage Cashless Toll Collection


BUFFALO, NY/FORT ERIE, ON –  Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA) today approved its 2021 budget and its final projected 2020 budget.

Since the border was closed to all but essential travel on March 21, 2020 car volumes have been reduced by 94% and truck traffic by 13%. The Canadian Duty Free store has been closed while the U.S. Duty Free has been operating at reduced hours.

Compared to the pre-pandemic 2020 budget, the operations budget was reduced by approximately $3 million and a total of $7 million in capital expenditures was deferred or cut. Overall staffing has been cut by 26%. As a public entity, the PBA has not been eligible for any Covid relief program from either federal government yet it remains responsible for meeting all its bonding covenants including approving a budget that complies with its debt coverage requirements.

“The PBA is 100% self-reliant on tolls and rental income and this budget reflects the devastating impact that the pandemic and the border closure has had on our business” said Chairman Ken Manning. “Because the Peace Bridge is considered essential it must remain open 7/24 to facilitate bi-national supply chains and other permitted travel as well as to provide services to CBSA and CBP in support of their missions.”

The budget reflects an inflationary car toll increase from $3.75 (USD) to $4.00 (USD) for a roundtrip E-ZPass transaction. To minimize the handling of cash/credit at the toll booth the cash rate will be $6.00 (USD) on December 1, 2020 and $8.00 (USD) on March 1, 2021.

“It is important that we reduce the Covid-19 health risk for employees and the public and we encourage as many people as possible to use E-ZPass” said Vice-chairman Tim Clutterbuck “Unlike other toll entities the PBA does not have the ability to read license plates to implement a toll-by-mail system nor does it have the legal authority to enforce non-payment, so having a differential rate that discourages the handling of cash or credit cards is really the only means available”.  Mr. Clutterbuck also noted that: “The New York State Thruway system will be fully cashless next month and most toll authorities, including Hwy 407 in Ontario, impose significant surcharges for not using an electronic transponder”.

E-ZPass transponders will be available at Peace Bridge toll booths or they can be acquired on-line (

Chairman Manning concluded by stating: “It appears the border will remain closed into the foreseeable future and given the great uncertainty as to what travel volumes will look like when the border does reopen, the Board will be continuously monitoring the situation and will take further budget actions as deemed necessary.”

About the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority

The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, a binational bridge authority, has owned and operated the Peace Bridge since 1933. The bridge, which was opened to traffic in 1927, spans the Niagara River between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, and is a key international border crossing.


October 1, 2020



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