Charges are way out of line
407/ETR is fast becoming the highway we love to hate.
temptation to avoid the QEW crawl toward Toronto with perhaps a
hair-raising ride down the 427 or DVP is still almost irresistible.
we admit the 407/ETR is a good product, although at times it can
clog up as badly as the 401 along north Toronto or the QEW in Oakville.
the trouble with good products is that demand always affects cost.
once again 407 International Inc., the consortium that owns the
highway, has decided that it must raise its rates -- the fifth increase
in three years for those who like to keep count.
reasoning: the 12 per cent rate increase which takes effect next
month will help pay the $6 million construction cost of additional
lanes between Pine Valley and Highway 27. The consortium has also
announced it plans to add additional lanes between Highway 401 and
Hurontario Street as well as a number of technical upgrades to its
customer service operation.
company boasts shamelessly that use of the 407 has increased by
some 20,000 trips per day in the last year.
there's the rub. It gives you the sense that 407 Inc. could probably
pay for all its planned upgrades and still realize a small fortune
in profit at the end of the day.
fact, the dough those extra 20,000 trips per day alone must generate
should eventually look after the expansion plans.
that's not considering what the 407 Inc. must pull in on the 300,000
rides it was already clocking daily.
suspicion of papering over the gold mine increases when reading
the sugar-sweet coating applied to the defence of the rate hike:
people are picking up their children from day care on time ..."
You get the idea.
we can't understand is why the province lets 407 Inc. get away with
charging such exorbitant fees. They're so far out of line with toll
highways the world over, it's laughable.
February it will cost a driver without a transponder about $24 for
a round trip to Highway 400 from here. That's about 135 kilometres.
costs about the same to drive the length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike
toll highway, America's first superhighway, except that you get
to drive for 672 kilometres.
means it costs five times more to drive on the 407/ETR than it does
on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
that's why it's hard to go along with another increase. The province
needs to take a look at this situation because, sooner or later,
drivers are going to hold the government responsible for the ever-growing
is coming a day when the province will no longer be able to hide
behind excuses such as "the highway is privately owned,"
because it is a situation the province created. Every rate hike
will bring that day of reckoning a little closer.