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.