December 1, 2016
GUELPH, ON, Dec. 1, 2016 -- Having facilitated Ontario’s only continuous mobility pricing conversation since 2008, Transport Futures (TF) applauds Toronto Mayor John Tory’s courageous call for road tolls on the city’s Don Valley Parkway (DVP) and Gardiner Expressway.
“The Mayor’s bold leadership is perfectly timed since the provincial government is already testing High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes on the QEW between Oakville and Burlington”, says Martin Collier, TF founder. “In both cases, flat toll fees must be replaced by dynamic pricing but we’re encouraged by the regional opportunity these synergistic initiatives present.”
Assuming Toronto City Council supports Tory's tolling recommendation, TF strongly advises the Province to create HOT Lanes on the entire length of Highway 427 and on Highway 401 between the 427 and DVP. This combination of HOT and fully priced lanes would create a seamless toll network around Toronto that results in the following benefits:
- congestion reduction – for commuters and goods movement across the region;
- geographic equity – most highway drivers will pay a toll and have a reliable trip no matter where they live;
- significant revenue raised for GTHA transit infrastructure and road maintenance – $500 million to $1 billion annually (depending on price of toll) and savings from reduced road expansion;
- decreased automotive emissions – will help meet Ontario’s climate change and air quality targets.
- improved modal split – shifting trips from cars to sustainable modes that cut congestion, pollution and crashes while enhancing health;
- increased job opportunities – especially for those looking for work in construction, transit, Intelligent Transportation Systems and Transportation Demand Management services (e.g Smart Commute).
“The 'political stars' are aligning to create a toll network that will help solve the GTHA’s $6-billion gridlock challenge”, says Collier.
“Mayor Tory is leading the way on Toronto tolling. If city council votes with him and the province accelerates its HOT Lanes program, they’ll significantly improve the GTHA’s quality of life for current and future generations.”
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