Thursday, June 23, 2016 3:05 pm ·  3 Comments
On April 1, 2016 OakvilleNews.Org released an April Fools post about the town approving tolls at all entrances to Oakville. It appears the province was taking notes.
According to a December 7, 2015 press release by the province a High-Occupancy Toll, or HOT, lane pilot project will begin on a section of the QEW between Trafalgar Road in Oakville and Guelph Line in Burlington in summer 2016 to help manage congestion and add another option for travellers.
The pilot is the first step of Ontario’s plan to implement HOT lanes throughout the region. In this pilot project, existing High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on the QEW will be converted to HOT lanes. Carpools of two or more occupants will still be able to use the QEW HOT lanes for free, while 1000 single occupant drivers will now have the option to purchase a permit for $180 for three months to use them. Drivers interested in purchasing the permit will be drawn via a lottery, and will be available via Service Ontario from August 1 to 21, 2016.
The test should begin on September 15, 2016 and will end December 15,2016. Information gathered through the pilot will be used to inform long-term planning for future HOT lanes, including new, dedicated HOT lanes with electronic tolling on Highway 427, from south of Highway 409 to north of Rutherford Road, which will open by 2021.
As they have done in other jurisdictions such as Minneapolis, Seattle and Atlanta, HOT lanes will help reduce congestion in general use lanes and help them move faster, as well as promote behaviour changes by encouraging people to carpool.