Saturday, April 21, 2012

Turning the Tide on Tolls?

The Canadian Press

Date: Saturday Apr. 21, 2012 11:34 AM ET

TORONTO — A study released Saturday suggests drivers in the Greater Toronto Area are willing to pay for alternatives to beat the gridlock.

Those surveyed face a daily commute of at least 30 minutes each way. The study found strong support for expanding rapid transit to suburban communities.

While well over half of the drivers surveyed were willing to pay a road toll, sales tax or parking fee, 69 per cent said they would be more supportive if they knew the funds would go directly to expanding rapid transit.

The survey also found that drivers would choose rapid transit or working from home if those options existed.
The respondents also said they would leave the car at home if they could purchase car insurance on a pay-as-you-drive basis.

The study was conducted for the Pembina Institute by Environics.

"For many drivers in the Toronto area, there is no reasonable alternative to commuting to work by car," said Cherise Burda, the report's author and director of the institute's transportation program.

"This survey shows there is very strong support among drivers for road tolls and other user fees, as long as those funds are used to build or expand rapid transit options in areas where people currently have no choice but to drive."

The survey was part of a larger Pembina report that examines best practices from other urban regions.

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