Ontario’s “HOT” lane pilot project is accepting permit applications starting Holiday Monday.
The high-occupancy toll lanes are expected to be up and running on September 15th and will encompass a 16.5 km stretch of the QEW, in both directions, from Trafalgar Road in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced the pilot project in December, which sees existing HOV lanes being converted into the HOT lanes. Vehicles carrying two or more occupants will still be able to use the lanes for free, and single-occupant vehicles will have the option to purchase a permit to use them.
There will be a limited number of permits available for purchase during the pilot program. Applications are open online through Ontario.ca/HOTLanes. A draw will follow to determine the limited number of applicants who can purchase an High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane permit.
Data collected during this time will be used to determine long term plans for more HOT lanes.
Dedicated HOT lanes with electronic tolling on Highway 427, from south of Highway 409 to north of Rutherford Road, are expected to open by 2021.
The lanes, which are the first step of Ontario’s plan to implement them through the region, are meant to “help manage congestion and add another option for travelers.”
According to the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario’s population is expected to grow by roughly 40% by 2041, and plans are in place to have the infrastructure in place to support it.
“This pilot project on the QEW is the first step of Ontario’s plan to implement HOT lanes throughout the region. The Request for Information will help us identify the latest technology to make HOT lanes efficient and well-managed. HOT lanes can benefit all drivers on a highway by improving travel times for everyone and keep the region moving.” – Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation
The Ministry of Transportation website says, this pilot project will last two to four years.