Ontario pilot project looks at HOT lanes
By Andrew Macklin
December 7, 2015 – A High-Occupancy Toll, or HOT, lane pilot project will begin on a section of the QEW between Trafalgar Road in Oakville and Guelph Line in Burlington in summer 2016 to help manage congestion and add another option for travellers.
The pilot is the first step of Ontario’s plan to implement HOT lanes throughout the region. In this pilot project, existing High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on the QEW will be converted to HOT lanes. Carpools of two or more occupants will still be able to use the QEW HOT lanes for free, while single occupant drivers will now have the option to purchase a permit to use them. A limited number of permits will be available to allow single occupant drivers to use the HOT lanes during the pilot.
Information gathered through the pilot will be used to inform long-term planning for future HOT lanes, including new, dedicated HOT lanes with electronic tolling on Highway 427, from south of Highway 409 to north of Rutherford Road, which will open by 2021.
As they have done in other jurisdictions such as Minneapolis, Seattle and Atlanta, HOT lanes will help reduce congestion in general use lanes and help them move faster, as well as promote behaviour changes by encouraging people to carpool.