Your assumption is that this individual's time is worth nothing, and they won't benefit from tolling by being able to use highways at a reasonable operating speed. Who benefits from tolling? Everyone who uses the highway! This should be obvious! I think you are maybe a little too stuck on the idea of the 407 as being what tolling would look like. Do you think 'poor' people in much of the US drive many miles out of their way to avoid their toll highways? The rates don't need to be set punitively high, they need to be set high enough to incent whichever people can switch to other modes, or other times. Even if it is only 5% of 10% of drivers, that would make a huge impact on congestion. And reflecting the cost of driving in $ instead of in time will help people make different decisions over time about where they live, where they work, and how they travel. Maybe a different way to think about this is that we already have tolls on highways. We toll people with time. 30-60 minutes every day for someone commuting across town. That is a huge waste, and benefits no one. If we tolled people with dollars instead of time, we could at least use the money to help provide alternatives.One day the province announces all highways are now tolled, deal with it. What are your options now? If money is tight, you can drive on side roads which are now even slower, or you can take transit which will increase your total commute time, both options significantly decrease worker productivity on a major scale which significantly effects the economy in a negative way. Let me ask you this, who does this benefit? Yes the highways are less congested, but that's because the only people who are using them are rich people who have no issue paying up, meanwhile those in more economically vulnerable positions are forced to take significantly worse commutes that decrease, and for what? Because you don't like people having free infrastructure, yes we subsidize people using cars, and maybe an argument could be made about whether or not that's the right things to do, but this has been the status quo for a long time and suddenly changing that could have serious consequences and put people in problematic positions. This is why I harp on the point of offering proper alternatives if we are to remove these options. When we deal with people's livelihoods, extra care has to be used when dealing with these issues. If you look at something small like RapidTO, look at how large the outrage was when the TTC removed some of the bus stops to make bus journeys faster on an extremely small scale, and how the TTC had to quickly reverse and reinstate a bunch of them a week after it was launched because people were negatively affected by the change.
You seem to think the status quo is not messing with people's livelihoods. Your proposal of leaving highways to ever worsening soul-crushing congestion hurts livelihoods. Everyone who needs to drive a service vehicle from jobsite to jobsite is able to get less done in a day and makes less money. All because you want to drive downtown for free!