Ontario Adding Travel Options to Help Manage Congestion
Permit applications for Canada’s first High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes can be submitted online at Ontario.ca/HOTLanes from Aug. 1 to Aug. 21. HOT lanes improve traffic flow, maximize highway capacity, and help to manage congestion.
The pilot project begins Sept. 15, 2016, when the existing High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on the QEW will be designated as HOT lanes. Single occupant drivers will have the option to apply for an HOT permit, while carpools of two or more will still be able to use these lanes for free. A limited number of applicants will be selected to purchase permits through a draw. Permits cost $180 for a three-month term and are renewable for a maximum of two terms.
Ontario issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking innovative technologies to support tolling, compliance and performance monitoring of HOT lanes. The RFI closes on Aug. 22, 2016, and supports Ontario’s innovation sector by providing an opportunity to test emerging traffic management and tolling technologies.
Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history — about $160 billion over 12 years, which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit. Since 2015, the province has announced support for more than 475 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life. To learn more about infrastructure projects in your community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON.
Investing in new travel options and supporting innovation is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Up to 1,000 HOT permits will be made available for each three-month term, beginning with approximately 500 permits in the first term.
- For the first term only, permits will be valid from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31, 2016, giving permit holders an additional two weeks of HOT lane use as an early incentive bonus.
- A 15.5 km stretch of dedicated HOT lanes with electronic tolling in both directions on Highway 427 will open in 2021, from south of Highway 409 to north of Rutherford Road.
- HOT lanes will complement other initiatives, such as GO Regional Express Rail that will increase GO train trips by 50 per cent over the next five years with more stops serving more communities.