Road tolls the better way

Item date: 
January 25, 2015
Item context: 

The columnist is correct about user pay but also spouts a lot of misinformation:
1)
there is no room to widen the Don Valley Parkway or Gardiner Expressway.  Indeed, one of the major reasons to implement tolls is to ensure free flow conditions on the existing highway.
2) very few miles of the US interstate highway system is tolled, but this is changing as the Highway Trust Fund cannot keep up with renewal.
3) TTC riders already pay 70% of operating costs -- the highest in North America and one of highest in the world.

By MIKE STROBEL

Few things in life, other than death and the Leafs, are as unfair as taxes.

General taxes are theft, period. Or, to be more accurate, extortion. No, wait, I mean robbery. You can’t say no...

Politicians love general taxes — income, sales — because they’re simple to impose. They go up and up and up with each single stroke of the government pen.

The result? The average Canadian family gives more to assorted taxmen than it spends on shelter, food and clothing combined.

Yes, Joe Average, you and your family were forced to pay $32,369 to Ottawa, Queen’s Park and City Hall in 2013, according to the Fraser Institute.

And it will only get worse...

Maybe it’s time for a sea change in how we pay to run this city (and province, and country).

Perhaps it’s time to replace enforced taxation, or much of it, with realistic user fees, including tolls...

Frankly, I’d happily pay to drive the DVP or the Gardiner, or even downtown like in London, England, if the money went to fix and expand roads.

User pays. You pay for what you get. You get what you pay for. Enough of this constant “redistribute the wealth” crap.

OK, OK, you could even spend some of the road toll take on subways and buses. After you add lanes to the DVP.

We’re talking big bucks, too. Hwy. 407, the private toll road, brings in $800 million a year. Imagine what the Gardiner could do.

True, the 407 has a bad rep for being pricey and prone to billing miscues, yet we take 115 million trips a year on the damn thing.

With a more sensible fare structure — like the U.S. interstates — you could still raise enough to widen the DVP and Gardiner and fix a horde of potholes...

And what of the TTC? Well, even the vast majority of us, the 70% who commute by car, have to admit public transit is fairly important...

Transit riders need to pay their own way, too. It’s only fair.

I smiled at the lefties and lobbyists who squawked when Tory announced his 10 cent TTC fare hike as a plank of his budget.

Expand, but not on our dime, proclaimed TTCriders.ca, for example.

Ten cents a fare. The horror! For a full-time TTC commuter, it’s ... OMG! ... a dollar a week. That’s two cigarettes, for crying out loud.

User pay, baby, that’s the fairest way out of the mess our leaders and their lazy approach to taxation have put us in.

FULL ARTICLE