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Canada's First High Occupancy Toll Lanes Open September 15

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Canada's First High Occupancy Toll Lanes Open September 15

Ontario’s New Travel Option Will Help Manage Congestion for Commuters

Ministry of Transportation

Ontario is opening Canada's first High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes tomorrow, providing a new travel option for commuters that will improve traffic flow, maximize highway capacity, and help manage congestion.

The province is opening HOT lanes on 16.5 kilometres of the QEW in both directions, from Trafalgar Rd. in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington. Vehicles with two or more occupants can still travel in the lanes for free, while drivers of single-occupant vehicles can apply to purchase a permit. No existing general purpose lanes have been removed, and drivers are not required to pay to use any lanes on the QEW that they are currently allowed to use for free.

In August, Ontario received more than 3,400 applications for HOT lanes permits. A random draw was used to allocate 500 permits for the first term which runs from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31, 2016. Permit applications and renewals for the next term, Jan. 1 to March 31, 2017, open on Nov. 1, 2016 and can be submitted at Ontario.ca/HOTLanes. This pilot project will run for up to four years and will support the planning of a more efficient highway network.

As part of the pilot, Ontario issued a Request for Information (RFI) for innovative technologies to support tolling, compliance and performance monitoring of HOT lanes. The RFI supports Ontario's innovation sector by providing an opportunity to test emerging traffic management and tolling technologies.

Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history -- about $160 billion over 12 years, which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit. Since 2015, the province has announced support for more than 475 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life. To learn more about infrastructure projects in your community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON.

Investing in new travel options and supporting innovation is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • Up to 1,000 HOT permits will be made available for each three-month term, beginning with approximately 500 permits in the first term.
  • For the first term only, permits will be valid from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31, 2016, giving permit holders an additional two weeks of HOT lane use as an early incentive bonus.
  • Permits cost $180 for a three-month term and are renewable for a maximum of two terms.
  • A 15.5 km stretch of dedicated HOT lanes with electronic tolling in both directions on Highway 427 will open in 2021, from south of Highway 409 to north of Rutherford Rd.
  • HOT lanes will complement other initiatives, such as GO Regional Express Rail that will increase GO train trips by 50 per cent over the next five years with more stops serving more communities.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“People who live and work across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area want less traffic congestion. With HOT lanes, Ontario is taking action and giving commuters a new option — in addition to transit and HOV lanes — to help keep the region moving.”

Steven Del Duca

Minister of Transportation

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