NDP urging province to make Hwy. 407 toll-free for commercial trucks

The Ontario NDP is urging the Ford government to make the 407 toll-free for commercial trucks, arguing it will relieve congestion for commuters in Toronto and the GTA. Tina Yazdani speaks exclusively with the transportation minister.

The Ontario NDP is urging the province to make Highway 407 toll-free for trucks — a move the party says will greatly reduce congestion on Highway 401 and other major routes in the GTA.

NDP Leader Marit Stiles say her party will table a motion on Monday afternoon that asks the Ford government make the privately-owned tolled highway free for commercial truck drivers.

“For the province, it means improved freight movement, diverting that truck traffic and reducing congestion on the 401,” Stiles says. “It’s really a win, win. And it makes sense.”

The opposition are criticizing the Conservatives for ignoring the potential of the “underused” highway, and claim their own plan is informed by transportation experts and stakeholders.

Stiles says she can’t understand why the government hasn’t already considered a similar move, adding the proposed change would improve trips for truck drivers by up to 80 minutes and provide “immediate relief” for many.

“The other benefit is to all commuters in the GTA who are going to spend less time stuck in traffic.”

Province cites Highway 413 as solution to congestion

When asked about the prospect of allowing truck drivers on the 407 at no charge, transportation minister Prabmeet Sarkaria cited the proposed Highway 413 as a way to help free up major routes in the GTA.

“Every step of the way we’ve been there for truck drivers,” he says. “Whether that’s about supporting and building the 413, or removing tolls on the 412/418.”

The province is moving forward with building controversial Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, which it has touted as bringing relief to “one of the most congested corridors in North America.”

Highway 413 will stretch from Highway 400 in Vaughan through Brampton to just east of the Highway 401/407 interchange, connecting York Region to Halton and Peel.

The Ford government announced legislation last month to ban tolls on all Ontario major highways, except for the 407. The ban will apply to the DVP and the Gardiner Expressway once they are uploaded to the province.

The government clarified the rule will only apply to new tolls and the existing toll on the provincial-owned portion of the 407, between Brock Road and Highway 115 will remain, where the money is collected through the private 407 ETR company.

In November, the Ford government announced it was uploading the costs of the Gardiner and the DVP in a new deal with Toronto, freeing the city from the costs of maintaining the two major highways.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today