Turning up the heat on Ontario HOT lanesDecember 7, 2015
Queens Park – PC Transportation Critic, Michael Harris says the Transportation Minister’s official unveiling of the latest Liberal plan to dig into our wallets will force Ontario motorists to pay twice for the privilege of driving their own roads.
“It’s one thing to create tolls on new roadways where people have the option of choosing an alternate route – it’s an entirely different story to ask motorists to pay again to access lanes on roads they’ve already bought,” said Harris. “What’s more, when I asked the Minister to commit today in the house, he refused to guarantee that tolls collected would go solely to governments’ transit commitments as they have suggested.”
Harris added today’s announcement to divert attention from the scathing Auditor report was not only light on details as to what pricing scheme motorist would face and how much the government hoped to accrue, but it ran entirely counter to the Ministry’s own advice.
“This is the same Minister who went forward with Pan-AM HOV lanes when his own staff told him there would be, ‘significant impacts on the general purpose lanes’ – months later we saw those ‘impacts’ lead to a 73 per cent increase in accidents,” Harris indicated. “Now we have the Minister announcing toll lanes for anyone without passengers despite a 2013 Infrastructure Ontario report that indicated, ‘HOV’s2+ approach is NOT advisable for HOT’s due to lack of capacity in lanes’.”
While the Minister indicated that today’s announcement only focused on the QEW, Harris warned motorists to stay tuned for 400 series tolls as, “the Minister pushes his latest revenue tool down our roads.”
See Michael’s question in the house here: https://youtu.be/hGyQlgyJ308