HOV/HOT Lanes Ontario
Solo Drivers to Spend $60 a Month to Use HOV Lanes
New Ontario Government stipulations will soon allow individual drivers without passengers to utilize HOV lanes on a major highway, the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) between Oakville and Burlington (The Canadian Press, 2016).
There is a limited number of permits available for $180 each in order to drive in the carpool lane. The carpool lane is free to use, however, if you have at least one other passenger.
The viability of this project, according to Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, will be tested via “a four-year pilot project on the QEW with so-called high-occupancy toll lanes before the government creates a network of fully electronic HOT lanes in southern Ontario” (The Canadian Press, 2016).
With one-thousand HOT permits up for grabs for each three month period, permits will only be distributed by lottery, which Del Duca asserts is the most unbiased system.
"The only infrastructure change that drivers will notice on the highway will be signage- HOV lanes on the QEW from Trafalgar Rd. to Guelph Line will be renamed HOT lanes", said Del Duca (The Canadian Press, 2016).
The pilot project has received countless criticism from the New Democrats for sanctioning drivers, who can afford permits, to drive in HOV lanes exclusively meant for carpooling and reducing air pollution.
Condemnation against the project also extends to social media with many voicing their concerns, claiming that the project contradicts the entire concept of HOV lanes, which is to reduce traffic congestion, reduce the number of cars on the road, encourage the use of public transit, and reduce carbon footprint in the long run.
People will be able to apply for a permit through Service Ontario commencing August 1, 2016 (The Canadian Press, 2016).