gardiner dvp polls

Toronto investigating tolls for Gardiner and DVP

Toronto is serious about moving forward with tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and DVP. Just a few days ago, the city issued a request for proposals (RFP) asking for outlines of how such a system might be implemented on two of its busiest expressways.

The information the RFP solicits is quite extensive. In addition to ideas for the implementation of polls - i.e. what technology would be used and where they'd be installed - it also asks respondents to determine who should have to pay the tolls and how much they should cost. Whether or not city residents and tourists would get a break is one of the questions a firm would have to answer.

The reason for the RFP is clear. The Gardiner is in drastic need of repairs, and both highways will need a steady influx of cash to be maintained properly over the next decades. The task is to create a toll model that will raise the necessary cash without exacting too much of a burden on commuters or neighbouring routes that would have to deal with overflow traffic.

What might the tolls cost? A report to the city's executive committee last year pegged the number at $1.25-$3.25 as a flat fee or 10 to 35 cents per kilometre in a distance-based model. Heavy vehicles like transport trucks would pay more. These, however, are only preliminary numbers. There's little doubt that numerous proposals would include more segmented toll models.

What do you think? Are tolls a necessary evil on these highways?

Photo by MarkBeauchamp in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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