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150 km of HOV lanes proposed for Toronto's Pan Am Games

The province is proposing adding 150 kilometres of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes across southern Ontario for Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games.

The only problem is, they’ll take over traffic on existing roads, and there won’t be any increase in law enforcement.

The plan depends on good behaviour from drivers, Michael Chan, Ontario’s minister of tourism, culture and sport, said during a news conference on Friday.

Chan added that Ontario is hoping the focus on carpooling will reduce traffic by 20 per cent during the Games.

The proposed HOV lanes for Toronto will run along Jarvis Street, the Don Valley Parkway, Lake Shore Boulevard and Highway 401.

See the map of all Ontario’s proposed HOV lanes below:


A map of proposed high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for the Pan Am Games. CITYNEWS/Amanda Ferguson.

The lanes will cost between $75-$90 million, Chan said.

The HOV lanes will not only reduce travel times, Chan said, “it will also reduce our carbon footprint.”

“We are very confident that the 20 per cent target is achievable. In Vancouver and London, they actually achieved 30 to 40 per cent [reduction],” he said.

The Globe and Mail reported that the province’s plan for Pan Am Games transit includes shuttles to and from the venues, extra trains on GO lines, and increased funding so that other transit bodies can increase service.

The Pan Am Games run July 10-26, 2015, and the Parapan Am Games, Aug. 7-15, 2015. A total of 250,000 people are expected to visit Toronto for the events, and that estimated number could increase.

The Tories warn the plan will lead to gridlock in the GTA.