HOV Lanes as Revenue Generators?

My wife and I (in one car) use the HOV lanes on highway #404 and the Queen Elizabeth Way – in both directions. We are retired and so don’t use the lanes for commuting to work but for visits to children and grandchildren – in Uxbridge and in the Hamilton area.

My concern is one of the transportation funding proposal tools – to charge single occupancy cars (s.o.) to use HOV lanes. I think this is a bad idea.

My observations of cars on these highways is that some 90% of them are s.o. Having some s.o. drivers pay to use the HOV lanes represents an opportunity for the wealthy driver and some revenue for the transport system without actually educating the majority of drivers to car-pool.

I often imagine what would happen if every s.o. car suddenly had two (or more) occupants. The gridlock would disappear as half the cars would leave the road. The presence of HOV lanes for multiple occupancy vehicles only, is a powerful education device. What s.o. driver doesn’t wish that he/she could be in the HOV lane moving rapidly along while the other lanes are in grid lock.

Do we wish to raise money but still have gridlock or is the real objective to motivate drivers to car-pool and thus automatically reduce gridlock without costing citizen taxpayers and the transportation system anything?

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About Murray Lumley

Board member of Conscience Canada; Christian Peacemaker Teams Reservist; retired teacher; grandfather
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