There is a way to combat traffic gridlock, and according to a private think-tank, the answer lies in having drivers paying more for the privilege.
The Ecofiscal Commission, a private and non-partisan think-tank which looks at different ways to protect the environment, says motorists in many other countries pay tolls to use roads and bridges, and it’s time Canada caught up.
It says by bringing in the fee, many drivers will be encouraged to make the switch to public transit, which would mean fewer vehicles on the road.
Gridlock costs the City of Toronto about $7 billion dollars a year, and the Commission is firm in suggesting that all 3 levels of government get together to explore congestion pricing policies.
It has made 4 recommendations to ease gridlock. They are:
-Major Canadian cities should implement congestion pricing pilot projects, customized to their local context.
-Provincial governments should initiate, enable, or facilitate congestion pricing pilot projects.
-The Federal government should help fund pilot projects.
-Governments should carefully evaluate the performance of pilot projects, communicate the results broadly, and incorporate lessons learned into future mobility policies
For the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area specifically, it suggests the conversion of HOV lanes to HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes, or building HOT lane capacity on the provincially owned 400-series highways as a practical approach to reduce congestion.