After the Pan Am Games draw to a close, the last term that anyone who lives in Toronto wants to hear is “HOV lanes.”
Well, you may have to get used to it; it turns out they may be here to stay.
On Wednesday, Kathleen Wynne said her government intends to bring back the dreaded HOV lanes that have plagued the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for months. The idea is to toll up the lanes and allow cars with only one occupant to use them, providing they pay the toll.
Those who don’t pay the toll will be limited to the remaining lanes.
Doesn’t the whole idea sort of defeat the entire purpose of the lanes; which is to reduce traffic congestion and offer a more environmentally friendly commute to work?
Basically, wealthier people will now be able to use the highway lanes that others can’t afford. The point of the HOV lanes is to offer incentive to create fewer cars on the daily commute – and to reward the environmentally conscious set in the process.
With the new system, the whole idea is lost (the amount of carpoolers will surely decrease) and the “haves” are the only ones who benefit in the short-term.
The good news is that cash raised by the high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes will go towards Ontario’s 10-year, $130-billion transit and infrastructure plan. Anyone who lives in Toronto knows how their commute – whether in a car or on the (shudder) TTC –has become more swearword-filled each year.
In the meantime, for those who don’t mind ponying up – at least you won’t be tempted to ride with mannequins anymore.