Province OK with road tolls . . . if city council approves

Item date: 
November 24, 2016
Item context: 

It is unfortunate to hear that the Government of Ontario will not toll 400-series highways now that Toronto Mayor John Tory is proposing to toll the city's Don Valley Parkway (DVP) and Gardiner Expressway. Assuming City Council supports Tory's bold recommendation, Transport Futures strongly advises the province to accelerate the installation of dynamic High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes in the GTHA. By creating HOT Lanes in the 401 express lanes (between the 427 and DVP) and in the 427 express lanes (leaving collector lanes free in both cases), a network of toll lanes would ring Toronto. Not only would this reduce congestion and emissions across the region, it would be more equitable geographically and raise much-needed revenue for road and transit infrastructure.

By ROBERT BENZIE and ROB FERGUSON

Queen’s Park will not slam the brakes on Toronto Mayor John Tory’s plan to slap $2 tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway.

But Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca emphasized Thursday that the province will not impose similar road-pricing charges on Ontario’s 400-series highways.

“No. Not happening,” Del Duca told the Star.

But he said the provincial Liberal government was all ears to Tory’s proposal — with a caveat.

“While we are always willing to listen to municipalities’ requests for new sources of revenue, these requests need to come with the support of council,” the minister said.

“If the mayor and the city want to implement tolling on city-owned highways that would be their decision and they would need to have public buy-in,” added Del Duca.

“At this time, we have not received a formal proposal from the city, but once it is received, we will need time to carefully review it,” he said, noting the province “knows how important it is to relieve congestion in Toronto for residents and commuters.”...

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