If the terms ‘Gardiner Expressway’ and ‘Don Valley Parkway’ alone don’t already induce rage, just wait until you have to pay to use them.
City staff said yesterday that drivers may soon be forced to pay a flat-fee toll for the privilege of crawling along either or both roads – between $1.25 and $3.25 per trip. The measure could be implemented as early as next year pending more research on its feasibility, as well as approval by city council and the Ontario government.
Revenue from the tolling system will be used to fund desperately needed renovations to both highways, which come at a 30-year cost of $5.7 billion. The toll rates – 35 cents per kilometre for cars and 70 cents per kilometre for trucks – will reduce the term to pay off costs to just 10 years.
The good news is tolling drivers is expected to reduce average trip times by three to five minutes; the bad news is taking an already bursting, ill-equipped transit system is the alternative for those who can’t justify paying money to use the two major arterial routes leading downtown.
According to the report, “revenue from toll rates higher than what is required to cover all (costs) … could be directed to other transportation alternatives for the city, for example transit.”
Investing in proper transit to accommodate the change beforehand would make sense, but we’ve learned that’s just not how things roll around here.