Road Tolls

Discussion in 'Transportation & Infrastructure' started by hawc, Apr 25, 2012.

?

Should we have road tolls?

  1. Yes we should

    64 vote(s)
    77.1%
  2. No we shouldn't

    19 vote(s)
    22.9%
  1. hawc

    hawc Senior Member

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    So City Council may open the debate on road tolls again.

    Questions:

    1) Are you for or against (please reply to poll)

    2) Where should the toll booths be set up?

    What should be considered inside Toronto and what should be considered outside? Should you have to pay a toll every time you enter an onramp on any section of the DVP/Gardiner? Or should it only be for people coming in from the West, North? Like would you set it up at the 427 coming in from the West and at the 401 coming down from the north?

    3) Would this cause more businesses to move their employees outside the city?

    4) Would you be affected?
     
    #1

  2. gweed123

    gweed123 Senior Member

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    1) For

    2) There shouldn't be any. It should be 100% electronic.

    But I think that it should be a per km charge, similar to what exists on the 407. The fees should be somewhere around 20¢/km during peak, with only the 401 Express being tolled at 5¢/km off-peak.

    3) If it's implemented regionally, no. If it's implemented just in Toronto, I still don't think it would make a big difference. Smaller businesses tend to employ people locally, and for larger businesses the cost of getting up and moving far outweighs the few extra dollars their employees will be paying in tolls.

    4) As it stands right now, no. But if I'm looking for a job in my field in the GTA, so it's possible that it may at some point affect me.
     
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  3. jaycola

    jaycola Active Member

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    I think placing a toll on 905'ers (exempting Toronto residents) who enter the city will cause a number of problems.

    A large number of vehicles will move from the highways to the city streets in order to avoid tolls increasing urban traffic.

    More 905'ers will choose to take transit as a result. What could the effect be on the Yonge subway line? Can it handle a sudden increase in passengers?

    Will 905'ers choose to shop and dine closer to home avoiding businesses in the core? Can the business in the city handle the loss of business?

    To be honest I would rather see an increase in fuel tax as it would be broadly based and wouldn't be avoided by those who choose to change their travel routes to avoid the charge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
    #3
  4. Disparishun

    Disparishun Active Member

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    For.

    On 400-series highways.

    I would extend it as broadly as possible, provided it was (a) phased in -- that is, announced well before it was implemented, to allow people to make informed real estate choices; (b) a congestion-based charge, so that areas of 400-series highways where there aren't really any traffic problems would, in effect, be untolled; and (c) tied directly to improving transit and local roads in the areas where the toll was collected.

    Not if it were a congestion-based charge extended as widely as possible -- then it would cause businesses to move to low-traffic areas that our convenient, rather than focusing on political boundaries. I recognize that there is a danger in this plan, because you want clusters and not uniform spreading-out, but that is inherent in any attempt to improve traffic aside from improved public transit -- which, I hope, is a byproduct of this approach.

    Marginally. In our family, I get to work by public transit, and my wife gets to work via the toll highway (407), so in a way we are living this approach already.
     
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  5. ssiguy2

    ssiguy2 Senior Member

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    Very strongly against.
    Unless they are for totally new infrastructure like a new bridge or highway, they are very unfair and counter productive.
    Let's say you put one on the Gardiner as an example.......a person on the Gardiner for just 1 or 2 km has to pay a toll but the guy who drives from Milton to Oshawa every day pays nothing. You get penalized for living a certain area for no particular reason. It also results in people getting off the freeway before the booth or not taking it all and instead taking regular roads. This results in cars and trucks flying down local roads increasing in conjestion, unsafe roadways, and an unappealing pedestrian enviornment. In short they can wreck the neighbourhoods near the toll booths/electronic gate as people look for a fast but free alternative to their newly tolled freeway.
    They only fair and effective option is gas taxes.
    Gas taxes are very easy to collect, they are spread region wide as opposed to hitting just one small area. They encourage people to drive less, live closer to where they work, take transit, and reward drivers with more fuel efficient cars which are ussually newer and smaller which means they are probably less polluting as well.
    Gas taxes are fundamentally a fair tax..........the more you drive, the more you pay.
     
    #5
  6. hawc

    hawc Senior Member

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    Agree with you all of the above.

    I only wish gas taxes were put specifically against transportation issues like building/maintaing roads, improving public transit. Instead of going into a general revenue pot that just gets used willy nilly for everything.

    I'm curious how many people are going to respond: 1) For Road tolls, and then 4) Unafffected by it because they don't own a car/never drive outside the city etc.

    The city only has jurisdiction over the DVP and Gardiner highways so if you toll those roads, people will come down Vic Park, Bayview, Leslie, Don Mills etc or in along Lakeshore, Queesnway etc. I don't know if it's practical.

    I also honestly don't think we have the congestion issues of NYC or London or Tokyo which have tolls to enter the city. Some people like to think we're living in the end of times, but look at any pictures of Toronto from the 40s, 50s, 60s and the roads were just as crowded back then. Traffic jams aren't a new thing. The traffic still flows. It's not total gridlock out there. People need to get over themselves a little bit, this isn't India or Bangkok. Of course there will always be some who just hate cars and think they need to be 'punished' or 'discouraged' at every turn and that's a ideological issue - there's no reasoning with these types any more than you can reason with someone from the U.S. Bible belt about abortion or gay marriage. I personally believe the city can accommodate cars, bikes, public transit and pedestrians. It doesn't have to be one or the other.
     
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  7. spider

    spider Senior Member

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    But only if you benefit in some way from the extra expense imposed on your automobile or truck use in areas with absolutely zero transit available. Most of the Ontario citizen/drivers who don't live in the GTA avoid the area and it's traffic problems with a passion. It is quite possible to live in the Province of Ontario and never drive in the GTA. Their local roads may not have been upgraded in years yet you expect them to pay for Toronto's problems, a Toronto that is famous for low property tax levies.
     
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  8. Eug

    Eug Senior Member

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    1) Against.

    2) Nowhere. In fact, I find it disappointing that the 407 had to be built as a toll road. I suspect one of the reasons the 401 is so crowded is because the 407 is a toll road.

    3) Yes.

    4) No. I live in the city, and don't use highways to get to work. Well, maybe I would get affected somewhat. I sometimes use large urban roads, ones which could get some of the overflow if the 401 were made into a toll road.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
    #8
  9. nfitz

    nfitz Superstar

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    Surely if 407 wasn't a toll road, it would be congested as well. If we were to toll the 401, it might actually be possible to drive it much quicker. Imagine how much $ that would save!
     
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  10. leopetr

    leopetr Active Member

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    1) For

    2) No booths. There should be appropriate scanners at every onramp.

    I'm ok with exempting 416ers from paying tolls as some have suggested.

    3) Municipal road tolls would potentially encourage business to move back into Toronto, as commercial property taxes could be correspondingly reduced.

    4) Not on a regular basis. While I have a driver's license and rent cars on occasion, I take transit in my 1.5 hour commute from downtown to Markham.
     
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  11. TOareaFan

    TOareaFan Senior Member

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    Isn't this an impossible set of questions to answer until "we" decide who "we" is?

    The current discussion about road tolls seems to be a "Toronto" discussion. So, if the City of Toronto sees a need/want/desire for road tolls to generate new revenue, the only roads they really can toll are the Gardiner and DVP. The notion of only charging people who do not live in the city seems to be a "have your cake and eat it political statement". How would that work? How would any tolling system know where the car driver lives? What is the difference between someone living in Mississauga and driving to work in Toronto from someone living in Etobicoke and driving to work in Mississauga? In my small circle of friends, I know many that live just a few minutes (+/-5) walk from subway stations and work in office buildings sitting on top of subway stations....yet they drive to work every day....how is it that they are less "tollable" than that person in northwest mississauga that drives to work in the core because the transit system does not meet their commute needs?

    If, however, "we" is the province or the region (however you define/administer that) gas taxes are, as someone else stated, a much "fairer" way of collecting additional funds. They are, likely, also a greater "net" generator as there is not likely to be much in the way of new administration required.

    It would seem to me that in today's age of technology it would not be that hard to, simply, tack on an additional gas tax......put the onus on the gas companies to track/record where that tax was collected.......put the money in an escrow account and release it to the municipalities upon an acceptable transit/transportation plan.
     
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  12. Southcore

    Southcore Active Member

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    Not to derail the thread, but for those against tolls, would you prefer a tax of say .25-.5 added to Ontario HST with that tax solely put towards transit/road infrastructure improvements? Or if putting a tax on all of Onatario is unfair, maybe effective in the Golden Horseshoe kind like how NYC sales tax is slightly higher compared to rest of NY state?

    I see the point many of you are making, especially above, regarding how we decide 'we'. Maybe a dedicated tax is more 'fair'?
     
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  13. gweed123

    gweed123 Senior Member

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    I don't think it should be an "or this" scenario. I think it should be an "and this" scenario. 1% regional sales tax, along with peak period tolls on 400 series highways.

    The biggest impact we want to have is reduction of congestion during rush hour. Peak period tolls solves that. I don't think that tolling 24/7 is a good idea though.
     
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  14. rbt

    rbt Senior Member

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    1% is going to be a hard sell. 0.75% might be doable though. For some reason 1% is real money and 0.5% rounds out (doesn't matter).
     
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  15. devjohnson

    devjohnson Active Member

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    Questions:

    1) For

    2) Electronic would be the only way it could work out. As far as where to put them, I'm honestly not sure! It would be a challenge!

    3) Yes. Unlike New York City and Chicago (where the downtown core spreads for miles and miles) Toronto's downtown core is very condensed. So many businesses in one mile by one mile, and so many people trying to get to that exact location by one/two highways! I feel if businesses moved outside the core, traffic could improve a lot.

    4) Nope! I take public transit, and in the next twenty years, there are a lot of plans for public transit improvement! :) I think the TTC and GO could take the extra traffic.
     
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