To the Editor
In response to the article 'More HOV lanes planned' published on the Wednesday, December 13, 2006 by the Toronto Star, while I believe creating more High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on the 400-series highways (including the Queen Elizabeth Way) is a good start, more aggressive action should be taken, especially in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Highway 401, with its Collector/Express lane system presents a unique opportunity where a tolling system would work in a manner more acceptable to the public. A toll on the Express lanes would still allow for people who don't want to pay tolls to travel the system via the Collector lanes. Transit vehicles, delivery trucks and emergency vehicles would be exempt from any tolls. Users would have a choice in whether they want to pay a toll or not; the highway would still be usable by those that don't want to pay a toll; and the movement of goods through Southern Ontario via Toronto is not compromised.
The money raised through these tolls could go toward 400-series highway maintenance, and also become another source of funding for public transit all throughout Ontario. It would not be too costly a venture to implement this proposal, as existing infrastructure is essentially in place. Electronic tolling stations, similar to those on the 407 Express Toll Route (ETR), could be set up where the 401 Express lanes start and end, as well as all transfer points between the Express and Collector lanes.
Hopefully the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has considered an idea similar to my proposal as something they could implement in the future. It would kill a few birds with one stone.
Planning, Toronto, Ontario, Transportation, HOV, Tolls