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Downtown congestion pricing system

I'm not opposed to congestion charges downtown, with exemptions for local residents, but agree that GO needs improvements first. If you don't live on the LSW or LSE GO line, it's still too challenging to go downtown and there isn't enough capacity on GO buses to bring people displaced by the charges downtown.

Once GO expansion is wrapping up, congestion charges will be a lot more appropriate.
 
I'm not opposed to congestion charges downtown, with exemptions for local residents, but agree that GO needs improvements first. If you don't live on the LSW or LSE GO line, it's still too challenging to go downtown and there isn't enough capacity on GO buses to bring people displaced by the charges downtown.

Once GO expansion is wrapping up, congestion charges will be a lot more appropriate.
The city has much less say regarding GO. It's nearly entirely up to the Province.
Convincing a majority of MPPs for any further changes to GO is a significantly more politically challenging task.

The city does however have a big say in a potential downtown congestion pricing system. And it's much easier to convince a majority of city councillors.

So I'd rather keep the discussion separate for practical reasons as there's very little point in combing two different things that have a huge gap in their political difficulty and are under different authorities.
 
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For example the area bounded by Bathurst, Bloor, Don Valley and the Lake/Portlands might be a sensible area to start off with. Probably Bloor street will have to be included in the initial zone as congestion is already severe. Maybe some signs will be needed on Davenpost and Dupon for streets southbound to let motorists know that the zone is up ahead. Bathurst could be included or act as the border road depending on the severity of congestion.

The actual structure of the collection system could be using a gantry style system like Singapore or pole mounted like London, with license plate reading cameras.

The pricing scheme could start off with rush hour pricing only, i.e. 8am-11am, 3pm-6pm, or some variant, as those are the times most in danger of gridlock.

Maybe, that zone could stretch even further west from Bathurst. Roncesvalles / Dundas West is a good western boundary, the area has relatively good transit and is congested, too.

In London UK, the system is in place 7:00-18:00 Monday-Friday and 12:00-18:00 Sat-Sun and bank holidays: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge

Something similar could work here.
 
The city has much less say regarding GO. It's nearly entirely up to the Province.
Convincing a majority of MPPs for any further changes to GO is a significantly more politically challenging task.

The city does however have a big say in a potential downtown congestion pricing system. And it's much easier to convince a majority of city councillors.

So I'd rather keep the discussion separate for practical reasons as there's very little point in combing two different things that have a huge gap in their political difficulty and are under different authorities.

Actually for practical reasons, congestion pricing and transit quality are very related. If the former is put in place while the latter is not improved, then angry commuters will bombard their MPPs with complains, and the provincial government will overwrite the city and strike down the congestion pricing.

GO is the major component here, but some improvements will come from expanded TTC services. We are getting multiple expansions in the outer 416, that should reduce the need for downtown car trips:
- TYSSE: already running
- Finch West: in a year or so
- ECLRT: in a year or so
- SSE, Yonge North, Ontario Line, Eglinton West: all in 8-10 years

So, things are not looking too bad.
 
I don't really agree with congestion pricing. It only pertains to a small area of the city so the businesses in the core suffer while those outside it don't have to worry about it effecting their business. In Toronto, it would also be very hard to implement. Most cities that have it are ones that are divided by natural barriers that make it easier to enforce ie downtown bridges to toll but Toronto has untold number of streets entering the city.

I think a far easier method, and much fairer one to boot, is to simply add a parking tax onto all commercial parking spots and city metered streetside ones with exceptions being spots that are reserved for the disabled and should be implemented city-wide from Malvern to Mimico.. From downtown streets and underground bank towers to McDonald's, Walmarts, and big shopping centres. It makes everyone pay.

With this stick also has to come a carrot. 100% of the funds raised should go towards dropping TTC fares and bringing in full fare integration with GO. You can't expect people to reduce their driving if you don't offer them an AFFORDABLE alternative. It should NOT go to general revenues for a slush fund or God forbid let the Board of Educations get their hands on it or people will justifiably say it's just a tax grab. They could avoid this obvious backlash by dropping the TTC fares and bringing in full GO fare integration the very same day they introduce the tax.
 
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Nope the city can't implement that without the province saying that they can first.
I never claimed they had exclusive say over it? This seems to be refuting a point invented by yourself. It's clear that Queen's Park can block it indefinitely if they really wanted to.
 
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Most cities that have it are ones that are divided by natural barriers that make it easier to enforce ie downtown bridges to toll but Toronto has untold number of streets entering the city.
London seems to be doing fine with an even larger of streets from all directions, whereas we have the lake as the southern boundary.
I don't really agree with congestion pricing. It only pertains to a small area of the city so the businesses in the core suffer while those outside it don't have to worry about it effecting their business.
How will any business suffer? The total number of customers will at the very least remain the same, and probably increase, as everyone will move around faster.
 
I could see subsidizing metropasses for low income folks. I don't think reducing fares substantially makes sense while the system is basically at capacity.
 
I never claimed they had exclusive say over it? This seems to be refuting a point invented by yourself. It's clear that Queen's Park can block it indefinitely if they really wanted to.

the city has less than zero say over implementing something like this. Tory tried implementing a toll on the DVP & Gardiner 5 or 6 years ago and got nowhere. it would probably never get any traction at the Provincial level for obvious reasons.

a possible work around could be for the city to sell the DVP & Gardiner to a private company and they could then implement a toll similar to the 407, but that would benefit the city only indirectly, if that. As far as tolling the entire downtown core or all the way to Etobicoke that just reads like pure fantasy. No way anything like that ever happens in your lifetime. they just need to scale GO to subway level frequencies while making it far cheaper to use and with fare integration with local services. don't over think this.
 
Downtown residents must love Doug Ford. They keep proposing ideas that will make him more popular in the outer 416 and the 905. And let's be clear tolling or congestion pricing will be seen as an attack on them.

There's a better way.....tax parking and zone it away over time. This can be done without much change in legislation. It can be done gradually in conjunction with GO RER buildup. It can also just be done as part of an overall strategy focused on making downtown more walkable.
 
Downtown residents must love Doug Ford. They keep proposing ideas that will make him more popular in the outer 416 and the 905. And let's be clear tolling or congestion pricing will be seen as an attack on them.

There's a better way.....tax parking and zone it away over time. This can be done without much change in legislation. It can be done gradually in conjunction with GO RER buildup. It can also just be done as part of an overall strategy focused on making downtown more walkable.
While taxing parking makes sense, I wonder if that will have the unexpected effect of encouraging more VMTs with rideshare and eventually robotaxi.

No reason why the city couldn't/shouldn't capture more of the 'rents' in downtown parking rates. Taxing parking 'too high' would only discourage incremental parking development which is a feature, not a bug. To the extent that paid parking is priced at what the market will bear, taxing it won't even increase costs for consumers.

Does the city have the power to tax parking?
 
While taxing parking makes sense, I wonder if that will have the unexpected effect of encouraging more VMTs with rideshare and eventually robotaxi.

How does congestion pricing stop any of this though?

Mostly, I'd argue this is an attempt at penalizing traffic, when we should at least attempt to reduce it by design first. Every city that has implemented congestion charges has both substantially better public transport and a more walkable downtown than Toronto.
 

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