407 ETR Highway needs to be more affordable

Multiple highway shut downs this summer have affected thousands of Durham Region commuters and local drivers.

One week in August, there were three road closures. From water main breaks to tractor-trailer collisions, road closures lasted up to 11 hours each.

With winter on its way and drivers unable to find other regional highways as relief, the only option left is the 407 ETR toll Highway. Unfortunately, as soon as you get on, you have to pay.

This is why the 407 ETR highway needs to be more affordable.

According to Business Insider, in 2011, the 401 became known as one of the busiest highways in the world, handling more than 420, 000 vehicles a day.

The 401 also claimed nine spots on the ‘Top 10 worst highway traffic jams’ list published by the Canadian Automotive Association.

The privatization of Highway 407 and its average daily commute price set at $30.00 has not helped alleviate the 401 congestion during shut downs.

When compared to Montreal’s tolled bypass highway, the 407 could be much more affordable as a bypass to the Toronto downtown core. The Montreal A30 express toll highway is an alternate highway for truckers and those who wish not to drive through Montreal.

According to the A30 Express website, each vehicle is priced based on how many axels there are. Standard sized cars cost $1.40 per axel and larger vehicles cost $2.05 per axel.

If a toll system like this was implemented for the 407 highway, many more drivers would feel better about using the 407.

Drivers would be able to travel the 407 for less than $15. As a result, more drivers would choose the 407 over the jam-packed 401 Highway.

A study by the Conference Board of Canada found the 407 would allow drivers to cut 26 minutes off of their commute to Toronto. This also saves gas.

There are also benefits for Durham Region’s cities and towns. If the 407 was more affordable, it would lessen the overwhelming load of traffic heading to and from 401 onramps, causing gridlock on local roads.

Early morning commuters would also be able to sleep longer instead of starting with a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call to avoid traffic on their way to work. This would also save gas.

Overall, the 407 should be more affordable because it would help alleviate traffic on the 401. This would mean local streets would not be packed when the 401 shuts down.

Drivers could also cut 26 minutes off of their commute to Toronto and maybe even save more gas. Montreal’s bypass models an example of how we can better our highways.

Can we implement the same strategies here? Let’s start asking.

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Shanelle is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. She is passionate about writing and telling stories. She enjoys the daily news, music, travel and creating multi-media content. In her spare time she works at a local retirement residence and volunteers within the community.


  1. Hi Shanelle. Good topic! It’s unfortunate that, here in Ontario, we have chosen a road building model that doesn’t allow for affordability. There are clauses in the agreement with the private investors that would allow the government change the rules of engagement, but all our attempts to have the Province listen to reason has fell on deaf ears. My public name is Tammy Flores and I founded a group called Stop the 407 ETR’s Abuse of Power. We were very active at one point, visiting Queen’s Park and trying to trumpet change. The architect behind the agreement’s name is Jodie Parmar. He was the former Vice President of Corporate Development, Privatization Secretariat/Ontario and successfully led the $3.107 billion privatization of Highway 407. He wrote a few articles for me when I used to write for the Toronto Caribbean newspaper. All the best! (side point… I just finished the Project Management program at Durham College) http://407etr-abuseofpower.com/index.php/highway-407-a-lawful-way-forward/

  2. Would I drive the 407 if more affordable? Absolutely. I’ve driven the toll route in ny state, lewiston ny south about 100 or more miles. Cost was a few dollars. Just to get on the 407, it cost you about $10. Add in the distance and your drive can easily reach $25 or $30 or more…which is ridiculous when you consider that the tax payers of Ontario paid for this highway to be built and now most of the outlandishly high revenue leaves the country as profit for some company 5,000 miles away.

  3. Very well written. I think you are on to something, and it sure sounds like a good idea. The 407 as it stands is charging way to much money and there collection practices are totally off the wall and I’m sure if the 407 did an over haul of its pricing and stopped gouging money from an honest person going to work everyday just to live they would aleviate most of there problems. But because the 407 only wants to make life difficult they will never be a success. Just my opinion. Thank you, very smart girl