Toronto Mayor John Tory raised eyebrows yesterday when he announced his proposal to charge a toll for motorists using the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway.
Anyone who’s ever been caught up in the gridlocked morning or afternoon rush hour knows that taxing all of those vehicles two bucks a piece would be a cash cow for the City of Toronto.
Some critics suggest that this is an attempt to get people out of their cars and into public transit.
But GO trains and buses are already overcrowded every day and frankly, the transit system just isn’t convenient for many commuters who work in Toronto but simply can’t afford to live there.
For commuters who used those roads to get to work everyday, that’s an unexpected expenditure of about a thousand dollars annually .
However, Provincial Transport Minister Steve Del Duca says that Toronto can’t collect tolls on those roads without the Province’s permission.
That’s the same answer the Province gave Hamilton City Council when they asked to toll the Red Hill and the Linc a while back.
It’s quite likely that Toronto and the Province will cut a deal to share the revenue from the tolls and if that happens, you can bet that cash strapped cities like Hamilton will want the same deal.