Toll lanes should be transportation legacy of Pan Am Games

Item date: 
November 26, 2014
Item context: 

Benjamin Dachis is a great proponent of tolling, especially HOT Lanes.  While Transport Futures understands the public acceptance gains that can be made by HOT Lanes, their actual congestion and revenue benefits are minimal compared to fully priced networks.

 

By BEN DACHIS

The Pan Am Games will last only a few weeks next summer. But the province wants the benefits from the Games to last long afterward. Its plan to create temporary carpool lanes on Toronto highways during the Games will worsen traffic next summer on Toronto’s highways. If the province wants to use the Games to benefit drivers for years to come it should convert the temporary carpool lanes into toll lanes...

Adding a toll to only one lane – not the whole road – gives drivers a choice to pay, or deal with traffic as usual. A guaranteed free-flowing lane will mean better bus and public transit service. HOT lanes also generate revenues that can be put back into transportation infrastructure...

The government’s 2013 budget promised the province would introduce HOT lanes to replace existing permanent carpool lanes on some provincially operated freeways. The best legacy of the Games would be for the province to turn the temporary Pan Am carpool lane network into a HOT lane network.