Ontario drivers on the QEW who don’t have a passenger will soon be able to pay a toll to use a high-occupancy vehicle lane.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says the so-called High Occupancy Toll, or HOT lane, will be created between Trafalgar Road and the Guelph Line on the QEW as a pilot project starting next summer.
The lanes, also referred to as HOT lanes are designed to encourage carpooling and would also allow drivers without passengers to pay to use the lanes.
The amount of the toll for the 16.5-kilometer stretch of the QEW will be announced next spring, and the pilot project could last up to four years.
Del Duca says an HOV and HOT lane will be created on the extension of Highway 427 from Highway 409 north when it opens in 2021.
The idea was originally proposed in Dalton McGuinty’s 2013 budget as a method of raising money to fund infrastructure and last month the Liberal Government said that HOT lanes would only be created on roads where HOV lanes were already in place.
It was also suggested that HOV and HOT lanes could be created on any new or expanded highways in the future.
The announcement last month came at the same time as a report by Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, a coalition of economists, which endorsed the idea of toll roads as a way to help deal with traffic problems.
However, the plan is opposed by both the Tories and the New Democrats who say that Ontarians do not want their roadways taxed.