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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

Just had curious about the idea of tolls in urban areas. To me, the ideal scenario for tolls in the GTA would be Gardiner - High, 401 - Average, 407 - Low, 413 - Free. I know this isn’t possible now as it is not popular to toll existing highways and to only toll new highways, but does this tolling structure make sense?
Somehow, the idea of adding tolls to people who moved to Rexdale or L'Amereaux or Malvern, which are i) close to freeways, ii) and no good transit alternatives - does not seem right.
Then people who moved to Willowdale or Forest Hill, where there is a subway in their back yard - pay no tolls at all.

We will likely only have tolls when all cars have enough technology to record a vehicles travel (distance traveled, where traveled, when traveled) is fully recorded and tolls can be paid by all. This will likely also only happens when enough people have electric vehicles and these "elites" are avoiding paying their fare share of road taxes through gasoline.
 
Then people who moved to Willowdale or Forest Hill, where there is a subway in their back yard - pay no tolls at all.

Its not like the subway is free unlike the 401.
 
The government owns toll roads: HWY 407E, HWY 412, FUTURE HWY 418. They can certainly toll their roads if they ever wanted to. The regular HWY 407 is a current cash grab and that would be far too high for most people.

The 407 toll during rush hour(s) is appropriate to ensure a good travel speed - i.e., the 407 is as busy as it can get without having traffic jams (which still occur in bad weather). I suspect you would need a similar toll rate on the 401 to achieve the same results, but this should be done. This would not only allow people to get to where they need to go more quickly, it would also encourage more transit and carpooling, both of which are good as well, and bring in more revenue both for hwy maintenance and transit. As electric vehicles become more common, the current gas tax to pay for roads setup (as flakey as this connection is) goes away, and some other revenue stream will be required.
 
The 407 toll during rush hour(s) is appropriate to ensure a good travel speed - i.e., the 407 is as busy as it can get without having traffic jams (which still occur in bad weather). I suspect you would need a similar toll rate on the 401 to achieve the same results, but this should be done. This would not only allow people to get to where they need to go more quickly, it would also encourage more transit and carpooling, both of which are good as well, and bring in more revenue both for hwy maintenance and transit. As electric vehicles become more common, the current gas tax to pay for roads setup (as flakey as this connection is) goes away, and some other revenue stream will be required.
If we're going to toll the 401, I'd toll the express lanes only. This way, people who need to drive aren't completely disenfranchised, and it keeps traffic moving through some of the most congested areas.
 
Somehow, the idea of adding tolls to people who moved to Rexdale or L'Amereaux or Malvern, which are i) close to freeways, ii) and no good transit alternatives - does not seem right.
Then people who moved to Willowdale or Forest Hill, where there is a subway in their back yard - pay no tolls at all.

We will likely only have tolls when all cars have enough technology to record a vehicles travel (distance traveled, where traveled, when traveled) is fully recorded and tolls can be paid by all. This will likely also only happens when enough people have electric vehicles and these "elites" are avoiding paying their fare share of road taxes through gasoline.
I’d suggest that pricing a limited resource that is dysfunctional for large parts of the day due to congestion is simply common sense. We use price signals to allocate most scarce resources in our society, and that market mechanism works pretty well. What doesn’t seem right is the worsening congestion on our unpriced freeways, which ultimately costs the good folks in Rexdale more than the so-called elites of Forest Hill, unless you believe the former’s wasted time is worth nothing.
 
If we're going to toll the 401, I'd toll the express lanes only. This way, people who need to drive aren't completely disenfranchised, and it keeps traffic moving through some of the most congested areas.

That would make the collector lanes completely impassable. Maybe have lower rates on the collector and higher on the express. Another consideration is people will be driving on the surrounding arterials to avoid the 401 which will screw up the bus routes even more. Tolling the 401 will make some things worse unless substantial transit improvements are implemented simultaneously (especially dedicated ROW). Should be a boon for the GO bus routes using the 401, however.
 
That would make the collector lanes completely impassable. Maybe have lower rates on the collector and higher on the express. Another consideration is people will be driving on the surrounding arterials to avoid the 401 which will screw up the bus routes even more. Tolling the 401 will make some things worse unless substantial transit improvements are implemented simultaneously (especially dedicated ROW). Should be a boon for the GO bus routes using the 401, however.
Speaking of buses on the 401. Is there any way to add a dedicated ROW for buses (not HOV lanes) through the corridor? Or would be very costly and require removal of lanes?
 
If we're going to toll the 401, I'd toll the express lanes only. This way, people who need to drive aren't completely disenfranchised, and it keeps traffic moving through some of the most congested areas.

This is the solution that I support as well. Most of the 400-series connections along the Collector-Express section of the 401 feature ramps to both the express and collectors, so anyone making an inter-400-series transfer (i.e. not to an arterial) would have the option to jump straight to the express lanes, and vice versa. It shouldn't be 407-level toll rates, but enough to create a speed difference between the two.

I also suggest that the toll rate also be variable depending on traffic conditions and the time of day. For example, there's no need to toll the express lanes at 2 AM.
 
This would not only allow people to get to where they need to go more quickly, it would also encourage more transit and carpooling, both of which are good as well, and bring in more revenue both for hwy maintenance and transit.

Because all traffic on the 401 is local to Toronto???
 
Because all traffic on the 401 is local to Toronto???

I don't see what you are objecting too. People from outside the GTA can pay the toll too, or change there trip plans, etc. Adding to the cost of private car transport for long distances also makes the train/bus more attractive, which achieves the same things. I have driven from Waterloo to Ottawa way too many times in my life (i.e, non-local), and have spent 4+ hours to get from Mississauga to Oshawa on the 401, so a toll to keep it moving would be great. The poster that called the 401 disfunctional for large periods of the day is spot on, get rid of the disfunction, and despite some short term pain, things will get better for everyone.
 
Yes if I am using Waze or Apple Maps or Google Maps, they will direct you to whatever is fastest, but I have found that Garmin without the live features likes to take me in and out of the collectors. No idea why, and I ignore it.
 

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