'Lessons' learned from HOV lanes to be used in Toronto toll road plan: Wynne
Toronto's high-occupancy vehicle lanes will not remain beyond the Pan Am Games, but the lessons learned by the temporary project will shape the plan for future toll lanes.
For two years, the provincial government has been discussing the implementation of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes across the province, but specific plans have yet to be revealed.
At a news conference Wednesday, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said those in charge of the future HOT lanes will look to the two-month trial during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games as a guide.
"I think what's important is that we take the lessons from the HOV lanes," Wynne told reporters.
"I've heard people talking about how they've noticed (driving) behaviour changes, and that's what putting in place HOV lanes is meant to do. It's meant to change people's behaviour and it's why we have committed to HOT lanes," she said.
During the Pan Am Games, the Ontario government has been encouraging drivers to carpool, take transit or commute outside of rush hours. Officials have yet to release any specific data on the impact of the Games on traffic in the Toronto area.
She said the HOV lanes will be removed after the Games, but the government still plans to go ahead with the installation of HOTs.
"What I can assure you is that we have made a commitment in two budgets that we would implement high-occupancy toll lanes," Wynne said.
She said the revenue that would come from the lanes would be put toward funding public transit in the areas.
The Ontario government has yet to say exactly when and where the new HOT lanes will be installed, but Wynne said the government is not planning to install them in the same places as the temporary HOVs.
"Whether the configurations that have been put in place on provincial roads for the Pan Am Games are exactly what will transpire when we put in place the HOT lanes, that's not our plan at this moment."