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Would you pay to use the HOV lane as a solo driver?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Ontario government is trying to push forward a move to help pay for transit; it wants solo drivers to have the option of paying a toll in order to take the HOV lane.

It’s the norm in other major US cities, now dubbed the High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lane. Some experts feel the move out east will renew the push here in BC.

“Experience elsewhere indicates that you can adjust the price so that you keep the traffic moving. Those who want to pay will still have a choice but those who are using it for HOV purposes, carrying multiple passengers, still get the benefits,” explains Gordon Price, director of the City Program at SFU, who thinks it’s a good plan.

But Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie doesn’t agree. “If you fill up that HOV lane with single-occupant vehicles, what have you accomplished? You’ve raised a little bit of money but you’ve caused other problems at the same time.”

Brodie argues the point of the HOV lane is to reward those who have multiple people in the car and push others to use transit.

“I’m willing to look at how it has worked or hasn’t worked elsewhere and how it pans out in the east,” he adds.

In the American models, it costs single drivers more to take the lane in peak times.

A 2011 CD Howe Institute study found getting around is a lot more efficient when you slap on that toll.