Ontario to experiment with high-occupancy toll lanes on highways | Globe and Mail

Oliver Moore at the Globe and Mail writes: Ontario to experiment with high-occupancy toll lanes on highways:

Potential hurdles lie ahead for Ontario. Research into various HOT lane projects in the United States suggests that they can have a hard time covering their costs. This matters more if the goal is revenue generation instead of traffic management, though, and Mr. Del Duca’s remarks did not make it clear which of these would be considered more important when setting the price.

There is also the argument that these are “Lexus lanes,” an unfair way for wealthier people to buy their way out of traffic. Others counter that everyone benefits by having some traffic diverted off the rest of the highway. And Prof. Sullivan’s research showed that the lanes he studied were used by drivers across the income spectrum.

“Not everybody has the same value of time, and even some people have different values of time at different times,” said David Levinson, a transportation analyst and professor at the University of Minnesota. “If you’re in a hurry, if you have to pick up your kid at daycare … or go to the airport, you’ll pay a premium to save travel time.”