Province's new HOT Lanes are lukewarm at best

Item date: 
September 15, 2016
Item context: 

 

For Immediate Release
 

Province's new HOT Lanes are lukewarm at best

Driver monthly permit price must be $129 to equal GO Transit fare

 
GUELPH, ON -- (September 15, 2016) --  Having facilitated Canada’s only continuous mobility pricing conversation since 2008, Transport Futures (TF) remains unimpressed with the roll-out of the Ontario Government’s High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes pilot plan today.            

“We’re surprised that the government has chosen such a low tech approach when it comes to Canada’s first HOT Lanes project”, says Martin Collier, TF founder. “Although there is 20 years of US experience that could have been replicated here, the province has chosen to launch a pilot project that is lukewarm at best.” 

Collier says that there are many problems with the HOT pilot but the flat $60 per month ($2 per day) permit price may be the worst.

“Road tolling of any type must be priced properly to provide the proper signal to drivers so they consider using GO Transit and other sustainable modes.”

Commuting five days per week between Oakville and Burlington, drivers using their HOT Permit in two directions will spend a maximum of $3.00/day in comparison to a return GO Presto fare of $6.44 – which increases by $3.22 with each subsequent trip. Even with the HOT price, travelling by car costs a maximum of 47% of a GO Presto fare. In addition to receiving the benefits of the faster trip in the HOT lane, participating drivers don’t need to look for parking or wait at the GO station.

“While we understand that the province was concerned about driver participation rates during the pilot, the per trip price should be at least equal to the GO Presto fare.  For the next phase starting in January, we encourage the province to increase the permit price to $129.00 per month (maximum $6.45 per day) in order to level the playing field between drivers and transit users travelling in this specific corridor.”

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For further information, please contact

Martin Collier
Director, Healthy Transport Consulting
Founder, Transport Futures