News Release Archive

As part of the development of the private sector partnership to
construct the western alignment of Highway 104 between Masstown
and Thomson Station, motorists using the existing road will
be asked to participate in a survey to forecast potential revenue
based on traffic volumes and public acceptance of various toll

"This is a necessary step in the development of the economic and
financial analysis of the project, to ensure that we are making
decisions on the basis of reliable information.  The development
of this information by the Department also ensures a 'level
playing field' for the people who will be submitting proposals --
so that the proposals can be evaluated on the same information," 
Transportation and Communications Minister Richie Mann said.

The information will be made available by the Department of
Transportation and Communications to assist private sector
proponents to develop the revenue generation components of their
proposals to construct and operate the new highway.  Financial
institutions require objective traffic volume data and market
research to support revenue projections.

The department requested expressions of interest from possible
private sector partners last Spring, and suggested a wide range
of revenue sources, only one of which is tolls.

"We're still open to, and indeed encourage, other revenue
generating initiatives.  Our reason for doing this research is to
ensure that traffic and toll acceptability analysis is consistent
in all proposals and that data collection methods meet the
stringent requirements of the financial institutions," Mr. Mann

Two surveys will be conducted by Steer Davies Gleave of England
who have international experience in traffic volume analysis and
toll revenue forecasting.  They will be supervising and
training students from the Nova Scotia Agriculture College to
administer both surveys. Drivers will be asked about their travel
time, the levels of congestion experienced and preferred toll 
levels and payment methods. 

On Friday, January 20, Monday, January 23, and Tuesday, January
24, 1995, the first survey, expected to take approximately 15
minutes to complete, will be administered at the Esso service
station in Masstown.  This survey will focus on truckers.  

On Saturday, January 21, and Wednesday, January 25, 1995, a road
side survey, taking no more than five minutes to complete, will
be carried out at the end of the four-lane section of the 104,
just east of Masstown Road.  Car and truck drivers will be
stopped at random and asked to participate.  A sample of at least
600 drivers is expected to be gathered.  

Those drivers who are not asked to stop should not expect delays
as Department of Transportation and Communications staff will be
present to ensure traffic control and proper safety regulations
are observed.
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Contact: Donna McCready,   424-8687
lm                                         January 19, 1995