Toronto picks HOT lanes over TransLink's road pricing

Item date: 
July 22, 2013
Item context: 

Toronto remains behind Vancouver by insisting on HOT Lanes.  Transport Futures wonders why opt for an entirely new way of paying for roads when the 407 already exists? 

Excerpt from comments by Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx CEO:

"We felt that we needed to invest more in building those rapid transit choices in some of the more suburban areas before we could move towards a comprehensive road pricing program."

Toronto has proposed to raise $2 billion a year for transit through an increase in the HST in
the region, along with higher fuel taxes, a levy on non-residential parking stalls and increased development charges.

The one variant of road pricing Toronto intends to pursue is converting HOV lanes to 'HOT' (High Occupancy/Tolled) lanes
where those who opt to pay a toll can use the lanes along with HOV users to bypass congestion.

"That's intended to help expand the system," McCuaig said in an interview.

He said Metrolinx will use the HOT lane toll revenue to increase the network of HOV lanes from 69 kilometres now to about 450
kilometres over the medium to long term in the Greater Toronto/Hamilton area.

"We see that as a significant way to introduce a choice to the traveling public, that they can get a higher level of service if
they pay a premium."