New Report Says 407 Saves You 26 Minutes a Day

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada says the 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) saves Toronto and Hamilton area commuters about 26 minutes a day on average.

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada says the 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) saves Toronto and Hamilton area commuters about 26 minutes a day on average.

"Commuters are willing to pay direct charges for road use if they perceive benefits. A shorter commute is the most obvious benefit, but motorists may also appreciate more predictable travel times and a higher likelihood of avoiding stop-and-start traffic," said Vijay Gill, Director, Policy Research. "The 407 ETR experience seems to indicate that if direct charges lead to significantly better service for users who pay the direct charges, the reluctance to pay tolls dissipates."

The study shows that workers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area are travelling an average of 66 minutes a day, the longest commute times in Canada.

Nearly 30 per cent of these workers have commutes of 45 minutes or more (90 minutes per day).

According to a news release the findings are based on three distinct data sources: aggregated Global Positioning System (GPS) data provided by TomTom; data from cellular networks provided by Waterloo-based firm IMS; and a field study that was conducted in order to collect both GPS and on-board diagnostic data directly from volunteer motorists with logger units installed in their vehicles.

The results from all three data sources show that 407 ETR routes offer time savings that are large, while also improving the predictability of commute times. 407 ETR commuters typically save approximately 20 minutes per day. When the enhanced reliability offered by 407 ETR-based routes is factored in, the time saved rises to approximately 26 minutes per day. Total time savings (including buffer time) was 18 per cent according to the individual vehicle logger data, and 36 per cent according to the cellular network data.


  • At 66 minutes per day, workers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area face the longest average commute times in Canada.
  • 407 ETR routes offer time savings and more predictable travel times compared to untolled roadways.
  • Time savings were generally observed to be larger in the PM peak hours relative to the AM peak hours.

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  1. Only Common Sense posted on 12/10/2013 08:53 AM
    Time saved every day and a profit of about 1/4 billion dollars per year.
    Thanks go out to Mike Harris and his "contards" for getting rid of that "financial anchor".
    This is a prime example of what's wrong with the lack of foresight shared by most "cons".
    1. Frankie posted on 12/10/2013 10:06 AM
      @Only Common Sense I half agree with you.

      Government shouldn't be in business and if they ran the 407 I can guarantee you it wouldn't make anywhere near the profit it makes, if at all. It certainly wouldn't know how to maximize profit. We have daily examples of the incompetence of government running things and the inherent waste in everything they do.

      I believe the error the Harris government made was in not maximizing the profit they could have made in selling the 407.

      As to your comments about lack of foresight by most "cons" you only have to look at our current Liberal government. They are the most incompetent government in Ontario history, and their foresight doesn't even extend to the tip of their noses.
  2. Tammy Flores posted on 12/10/2013 09:56 AM
    Most people only make between $15-$25/hour if they are fortunate enough to have a job that pays more than minimum wage. If you are a tradesman you may be fortunate enough to make $25-$40/hour. Most people I know can't justify taking $11/hour out of their budget to ride on the 407ETR. They can't justify that $11 for the sake of an hour or more depending on how far they need to travel.

    This new spin is ridiculous!
  3. Tammy Flores posted on 12/10/2013 12:17 PM
    Currently there is no accountability on how this company is tolling. A study is required on how much money is actually made from tolls versus interest charges and fees and also the financial feasibility of a private corporation operating and maintaining our highways based on the consumer price index.

    407ETR has increased peak rates from $.1625/KM in 2006 to $.262/KM in 2013. This represents a 61.23% increase. According to the Bank of Canada, the consumer price index for 2006-2013 was 12.11%. If 407ETR adjusted their rates based on CPI, tolls should be only $.1822/KM. That is a difference of $.08/KM.

    Think about it. The average trip length is 20.5 KM times that by 2 and you would get 41 KM/day times that by 235 working days/year and the average commuter is paying $771 more per year according to the consumer price index. If you add to that the interest and fees 407ETR arbitrarily tacks on … you get consumers being gouged! This is worse than double taxation because not only do we pay for our roads and highways through the gas tax, tire tax, ect… but now we are paying a premium just to get to our jobs, not just if we travel on 407ETR, but on all the other vital arteries and highways because what 407ETR says is their "mandate" is actually their flawed model of raising tolls to lower congestion on their highway only, causing more congestion on other travel routes. I would say it’s a breach of our rights to mobility.

    Without proper study, are we supporting corporate welfare? Ontario has refused to hold accountable this company for breaching our rights and freedoms to mobility. By continuing to turn a blind eye, this company smacks of a government sanctioned monopoly. That would lead us down the road to fascism not democracy. It is up to us to protect our democratic rights!

    Nobody should ever have to pay fees or interest on a bill over a mailing error. It is not up to the public to make sure this company is operating their business properly. 407ETR has always had access to MTO’s database, but up until 2010, the company simply choose not to access it to make sure they were billing the correct person at the correct address. They should not be rewarded for their failings in operating this highway.

    Kevin Sack, 407ETR’s VP of Communication and Government Relations told us that they are in the business of collecting tolls, not fees and interest. If this statement is true they have an accountability to us, the people, to prove it and our government should legislate them into it.
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