POLL: Should Ontario’s HOV Lanes Allow Tolls for Solo Drivers?

To toll or not to toll?

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard more drama over the HOV lanes. In an effort solve Toronto’s horrendous traffic situation, it was announced today that the province will be rolling out a pilot project for tolled HOV lanes for solitary drivers.

The pilot project will be introducing tolls on a 16.5 km stretch of the QEW between Oakville and Burlington from Trafalgar Road to the Guelph Line. The 4 year project won’t be starting until the summer, with the toll fares being announced in the spring.

Should HOV lanes be tolled to allow solo drivers in?

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Apparently the HOT lanes will follow a similar model currently being implemented in Utah which charged drivers who wish to use the high-occupancy vehicle lane $50/month before moving to an electronic system with variable rates. Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca stressed that this doesn’t necessarily reflect Ontario’s rates and that they’ll have to do more analysis before determining the fare. Del Duca also stated that the govemernment will be limiting the amount of permits issued, “we haven’t landed on what the exact number of overall permits will be. I anticipate that we’ll probably end up in the neighbourhood of roughly 1,000 permits in total, but that will be done in phases over time.”

An HOV and HOT lane will also be created on the extension of the 427 north of the 409 when it opens in 2021. “We hope to build an HOT network here in the GTA over time,” said Del Duca. “It’s always possible in the future that we’ll be looking at more options.”

What do you think, Toronto? Take the poll above and see where the rest of Indie88’s readers lie.

(Photo by Danielle Scott via Flickr)