Talk Swirl About Tolling DVP & Gardiner Exp. & 407ETR‏

Change the 407 Act supporters, this cause can really use your support right now. Please go to the Premier’s website and vote this policy idea up. If you have any positive suggestions, please post them there. This could go a long way to nipping this issue in the butt once and for all. Here’s the link!/13642-25935 Thank-you so much for sharing this and helping decision makers pay attention to this.
I was told privatizing Highway 407 and putting tolls on the DVP & the Gardiner Expressway are 2 different arguments.  Are they really?  Well if you want to look at it from the standpoint that the 400 series highways are Provincially owned and the City of Toronto owns DVP & the Gardiner Expressway I can agree with that.  But is there really any other differences in the debate?  Some people will still say yes. People will say nobody wants to sell off their roads to private interests and that this money will be a revenue stream for the city to pay for road repairs, transit and expansion.  I am going to take you back into history and remind you how we were sold on tolling Highway 407.  I already wrote this in my June 21st, 2012 article entitled “Can Highway 407 Ease Our Congestion Woes?”, but I think we need a reminder.
April 19th, 1997-The Toronto Star’s, Jim Kenzie writes, “Open Up Highway 407 and let drivers try it for free. If commuters fall in love with the toll way, it’ll cut traffic elsewhere”…

June 12th, 1997-The Toronto Star’s Bob Mitchell writes “Toll Road Finally Open” and quoted excited commuters.

June 14th, 1997-The Toronto Star’s Jim Kenzie writes, “Highway 407 is worth it-for free True value will be seen in how 401 congestion is relieved”

September 28th, 1997-The Toronto Star received a letter from Wayne Debly of Maple where he did some math and the 407 toll figures were 4 times higher than in the U.S. and that’s when the tolls were about $.10/KM

Most noticeable was this article in the Toronto Star of October 15th, 1997; the day people were charged to use the toll highway. It was a retreat back to the 401. Minister Al Palladini, who drove the toll way during the morning rush hour with his successor, Tony Clement is quoted as saying, “There’s no question traffic was very light, but once motorists get tired of getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Highway 401 and other routes, they’ll be back.” This was when we were only paying about $.10/KM. The minute they started to charge a toll on the 407, the increase in traffic on the 401 and other vital routes was duly visible. This is something we cannot ignore given the increase in the amount of Vehicle Registrations and Vehicle Kilometers Traveled that took place in the GTA since 1997, the lack of reliable data from 407ETR and the model of optimizing trips to generate ever increasing EBITA to enrich owners instead of trip optimization actions and alternatives for congestion relief.

The Province has a responsibility to act on one of 3 triggers in the Concessions Agreement with the 407 ETR that would bring in at least $1 billion dollars to the public purse and some much needed relief for drivers.  So far the Province has not acted responsibly in this manner and you want us to believe the City of Toronto is on the right track?  It’s always said that history repeats itself.  Until I see some action with respects to 407ETR issues, I will not have any confidence in what is being proposed with respect to tolls at the City of Toronto.

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