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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

The tolls should be sufficient to keep highways moving. I don't think cutting the 407 tolls so that it is gridlocked is a good idea.
Having a moderate toll will still reduce some discretionary trips. Right now, driving is cheaper than GO train. Even a 10 cent/km could change equation in favour of GO for a lot of commuters. If every highway is tolled, then the overall traffic on the roads will reduce. We may not have free flowing traffic throughout the day on 407 but we will reduce congestion on every single highway to some extent.
 
They actually aren't that bad now. I think as part of the deal with the province for the extension and the additional toll highways being added the price structure was changed. Plus also the Canada pension plan is apparently a share holder in it now.
When it costs more than twice the minimum hourly wage to drive for an hour on the highway, something doesn't add up.
(Of course it's rare for anyone to drive 100km regularly on the 407, but the rate still stands)
 
They actually aren't that bad now. I think as part of the deal with the province for the extension and the additional toll highways being added the price structure was changed. Plus also the Canada pension plan is apparently a share holder in it now.
Really? Isn't the extension owned by the province? Don't see how it affects much.
Having a moderate toll will still reduce some discretionary trips. Right now, driving is cheaper than GO train. Even a 10 cent/km could change equation in favour of GO for a lot of commuters. If every highway is tolled, then the overall traffic on the roads will reduce. We may not have free flowing traffic throughout the day on 407 but we will reduce congestion on every single highway to some extent.
How about a compromise? We implement a congestion charge in downtown immediately, and implement a toll on the 400 series once RER is done.
When it costs more than twice the minimum hourly wage to drive for an hour on the highway, something doesn't add up.
(Of course it's rare for anyone to drive 100km regularly on the 407, but the rate still stands)
My issue is not the tolls, or its level, but where the tolls are going. In 2019, toll revenue was $1.5 billion, and profits were $600 million. It would take 50 years to recuperate those profits (assuming we pay in cash, which is unlikely). However, the lease has 70 years left, so we'd make $10 billion dollars. Of course, that's back-of-the-napkin math. If we implemented a toll(that was less, of course) on other roads that would first pay for the 407, then go towards transit or whatever, it suddenly looks better for mobility.
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-takes-a-big-bite-out-of-highway-407-traffic-revenues-and-profits-1.5399014
If the 401 to 410/427/400 traffic continues to increase then we may need 8 lanes in rural area. For example I-5 is 8 lane for a long distance in the rural areas far away from any major city (check here).

Here, we are talking about a highway that is "inside" GTA, even if that particular stretch may be rural.
That section is the only freeway between LA and SF, the 2nd and 12th largest cities in the US, with a combined population of (including major cities en route but excluding Sacramento), 22 million people, which is more than Central Canada.
That entire area from 401-407 interchange up through Bolton has been designated for development for years
So ... we un-designate it?
Nashville Conservation area is a concern for sure but there should be ways to minimize any impact traversing that area. Ultimately, if the goal with this highway is to help move goods through areas already designated largely for industrial development, then it is a net gain for the region.
Minimize sprawl, maybe? I've commented on the excessively wide corridor, but here, I'm returning (like a broken record, some would say), to sprawl. The area south of there is still forested, what happens then?

A truck only road would be better, maybe. I wouldn't believe it though.
If we're talking about farmland, the majority of owners in southern Caledon have already sold or will be selling off their land, especially as it becomes more apparent that the stretch from Georgetown to Bolton will be developed.
It's apparent because the government designated it as apparent, and because we don't do anything against it. If that area is no longer apparently going to be developed, we will be able to buy the land/farmers will be able to buy the land to turn it back into farmland/protected areas.
The Escarpment itself also acts a a physical barrier to development so the idea that this project will lead to unfettered sprawl is a bit overblown IMO.
The Escarpment sure didn't stop Hamilton, Waterdown, and Dundas, from sprawling. Besides, that's a lot of sprawl. We'd be as bad as Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and other sprawl-y American cities.
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This government and other successors should really focus on enhancing the GTA's existing highway network by gradually buying out the lease agreements for the 407 starting in the west end.
You can theoretically negotiate with the 407 consortium, but I doubt they'd give you anything unless you paid them.
407 through Halton should connect with the existing 403 through Mississauga thus creating a continuous 403 route from Woodstock to the 401 in Mississauga.
It does. What are you trying to say?
I think de-privatizing that segment is absolutely vital moving forward to relieve congestion on the QEW which will only get worse in the coming decade. If the 413 is going to move forward, it would make sense to connect it directly to the N-S 407 and N-S 403 through Mississauga to create a direct link to the 401, 403 and QEW.
We could run 10 minute service on Lakeshore West .
We could run frequent bus service with fare integration.
We could have flying cars (and probably will before the 407 is returned to the province).

I think it already will connect with the 407 in that segment. But building it further is duplication, and again, I doubt YR/Brampton - Hamilton/Halton demand is really strong enough to need an entire freeway.
How the government would go about repossessing the remaining ~100 km of 407 through the GTA remains to be seen but I think many voters would not be opposed to that sort of infrastructural pursuit through important highway corridors.
I did the math above; very few voters would not get sticker shock at $32 billion dollars, even if it will make money very far into the future. GTA West, as stupid as it is, would cost less.
The 407 is a key corridor that would help alleviate key E-W routes through the GTA.
No argument there.
The point of the new highway is to carry a significant number of additional trips though the region, both existing latent demand and the demand growth expected with the further development of the City. Not to mention the increasing need for infrastructure for goods and services movement throughout the GTA. While it would be great to support alternative modes, and we absolutely must, the need for accommodating increasing vehicular trips should not be ignored.

I would argue the opposite, if the new highway wouldn't be used there would be no point building it. The fact that it will become eventually clogged indicates a need for the connection and capacity. Perhaps over time, Eglinton LRT and the Ontario Line will become at capacity and clogged, is that not indicative of a successful project?
Is that success desirable? Or are there better, less polluting, more efficient ways to move private traffic? I have doubts that there are 50,000 trucks a day on that corridor, the 401 has that many vehicles in the rural areas.
 
Really? Isn't the extension owned by the province? Don't see how it affects much.
It is but the tolls are collected by the same company that owns the original section of it. Like I said I'm guessing that there were negotiations to bring the costs down and to put out bills on time (which was one of the biggest complaints from people about it not getting a bill before they racked up interest charges). I didn't pay it myself but my parents used it in August when the 401 was busy and we wanted to bypass it heading towards Peterborough, we got on it at one of the new highways and headed east to the end I think it was about $20.
 
It is but the tolls are collected by the same company that owns the original section of it. Like I said I'm guessing that there were negotiations to bring the costs down and to put out bills on time (which was one of the biggest complaints from people about it not getting a bill before they racked up interest charges). I didn't pay it myself but my parents used it in August when the 401 was busy and we wanted to bypass it heading towards Peterborough, we got on it at one of the new highways and headed east to the end I think it was about $20.
Here are one way costs with transponder for 6am-7am / 7am-930am
404 to 35/115 = $24.70 / $27.12
404 to 400 = $8.54 / $9.86
400 to 427 = $4.82 / $5.49
427 to 401 = $11.49 / $14.82
401 to 403 = $5.23 / $5.82
403 to QEW = $11.77 / $13.25
 
407 east tolls max out at about $0.30/km, and don't charge the $1 entry charge for entering the highway, provided you don't also use the private part of the highway.

Comparatively the private part charges $1 just for getting on, with up to around $0.55/km in tolls. From my experience the public portion generally costs about 1/2 as much once you combine the two factors as the private portion.

I sometimes use the 412 from the 401 to Highway 7, which costs me only $2-3 or so, compared to the same distance on the 407 (9km), which could cost up to $6.
 
Having a moderate toll will still reduce some discretionary trips. Right now, driving is cheaper than GO train. Even a 10 cent/km could change equation in favour of GO for a lot of commuters. If every highway is tolled, then the overall traffic on the roads will reduce. We may not have free flowing traffic throughout the day on 407 but we will reduce congestion on every single highway to some extent.
Is it cheaper than:

1) The gas
2) The maintenance
3) The Car itself

The whole benefit of transit is (barring taxes) that you don't have to worry about any of those things. Sure you pay for someone to take you somewhere, but the infrastructure and maintenance is effectively free*.

The difference with Cars is you don't have to pay anyone to go anywhere, but you have to pay for the vehicle and maintain that vehicle yourself, and you have to do the work yourself to get somewhere. That's what the trade off is supposed to be. Just because driving is cheaper in one specific area doesn't mean its cheaper in general or a good deal even without tolls.
 
Is it cheaper than:

1) The gas
2) The maintenance
3) The Car itself

The whole benefit of transit is (barring taxes) that you don't have to worry about any of those things. Sure you pay for someone to take you somewhere, but the infrastructure and maintenance is effectively free*.

The difference with Cars is you don't have to pay anyone to go anywhere, but you have to pay for the vehicle and maintain that vehicle yourself, and you have to do the work yourself to get somewhere. That's what the trade off is supposed to be. Just because driving is cheaper in one specific area doesn't mean its cheaper in general or a good deal even without tolls.
And the loan payments. Most car manufacturer's own or are part owner of financial companies for the car loans. That's where they make their money.

Maybe the province should set up a financial company for car loans as a revenue source for their highways? After all, with hybrids and electric vehicles, there is little or no revenue source for their gasoline taxes.
 
Which is exactly why we'll need an alternative method of taxing by the next decade. An cent/km tolling system in the GGH and possibly even on all highways will be necessary. This wouldn't mean paying more than what is payed currently through gas tax, it would just mean paying it differently. This could also be a good system for congestion pricing if the transit is adequate in the area (lets say a GO Lakeshore west every 10 minutes instead of the QEW). Maybe a different system could be used for commercial vehicles if that's a concern.
My issue with road tolls on every street is tracking. I don't like being tracked - it's part of modern life, but I'd like to keep it out as much as possible.
Cargo rail improvements, and also a full train still moves people while a full freeway is standstill and moves no one.
Agree.
As a completely new point- What if the 413 was built closer to the city? It could probably also utilize the E-W section of the 410 and it would have a similar cross section (~90m).
View attachment 354461
NIMBYs would murder you for that proposal. Also, it doesn't help what I see as the major drawback of suburban highway proposals - sprawl.
 
I've never thought of it that way before. Interesting.

That's the problem with sprawl. The 410 was built, which caused Brampton to sprawl. Now, it's sprawled so much, the 413 is being considered. This will make it sprawl out further, and then another highway will be needed, and so on. It's a never ending loop.
nah, the sprawl happened regardless. The 410 was built to service it, that's all.
Which is exactly why we'll need an alternative method of taxing by the next decade. An cent/km tolling system in the GGH and possibly even on all highways will be necessary. This wouldn't mean paying more than what is payed currently through gas tax, it would just mean paying it differently. This could also be a good system for congestion pricing if the transit is adequate in the area (lets say a GO Lakeshore west every 10 minutes instead of the QEW). Maybe a different system could be used for commercial vehicles if that's a concern.


Cargo rail improvements, and also a full train still moves people while a full freeway is standstill and moves no one.

As a completely new point- What if the 413 was built closer to the city? It could probably also utilize the E-W section of the 410.
View attachment 354461
a lot of that area has active development projects. I see a few spots where you are running the highway through either under construction subdivisions or already completed industrial buildings. The existing alignment as proposed pretty much loops Brampton reasonably close to what the urban boundary will be once the highway is built.
 
Is it cheaper than:

1) The gas
2) The maintenance
3) The Car itself

The whole benefit of transit is (barring taxes) that you don't have to worry about any of those things. Sure you pay for someone to take you somewhere, but the infrastructure and maintenance is effectively free*.

The difference with Cars is you don't have to pay anyone to go anywhere, but you have to pay for the vehicle and maintain that vehicle yourself, and you have to do the work yourself to get somewhere. That's what the trade off is supposed to be. Just because driving is cheaper in one specific area doesn't mean its cheaper in general or a good deal even without tolls.
Most of the people anyways own a car for weekend errands or pleasure even if they don't drive to work at all (I am one of those).

Irrespective of driving to work or not:

1. The car will depreciate almost as much (mainly because cars are advancing at such a fast rate that a 5 year old well maintained car feels like junk).

2. The insurance won't go up by that much if you drive to work (in my case, if I stopped driving completely and parked my car forever, my insurance will go down by only 30%. Yes, I checked that because I was not driving at all when covid started).

3. A lot of maintenance is irrespective of the mileage. For example, changing tires every summer and winter. Some other charges are by duration instead of mileage.

4. You'll be paying the same loan payment or lease payment irrespective of how much you drive.

So, for the car owners, it's the marginal cost that matters. That is, how much extra they are going to pay for driving to work beyond the fixed amount they anyways have to pay. Gas is way cheaper than taking GO transit.

Regarding the other maintenance costs that increase a little because of driving, most of the folks don't even pay attention to those. Who has time to calculate how much extra they will have to pay for replacing brake pads if they drive 15,000 km a year instead of 10,000 km? What you pay in gas is easy to calculate and that really feels cheaper even if the entire package may not be as cheap.
 
Here are one way costs with transponder for 6am-7am / 7am-930am
404 to 35/115 = $24.70 / $27.12
404 to 400 = $8.54 / $9.86
400 to 427 = $4.82 / $5.49
427 to 401 = $11.49 / $14.82
401 to 403 = $5.23 / $5.82
403 to QEW = $11.77 / $13.25
We don't have a transponder and it was in the morning around 11 am
 

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