Agreement about Ontario toll road favors truckers

| Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Truckers operating in the Canadian province of Ontario may soon get a break on tolls if they use the 407 Express Toll Route.

The Ontario government and the Spanish company operating the toll road have reached an agreement, following several years of battles and appeals about the control of the toll revenue.

The Liberal Party government promised its constituents it would wrestle control of the tolls back from the private business, but court challenges had been unsuccessful.

The two groups came to an agreement this week to end the court battle and agree to new terms.

“We have successfully resolved our disputes,” said Enrique Diaz-Rato, president of 407 ETR, a company consisting of a 53.2-percent interest by Spanish-based Cintra Concessiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. – a company that also has a controlling interest in the Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road.

Diaz-Rato, on the company’s site, www.407etr.com, announced the following terms of the agreement:

  • Drivers of heavy vehicles that use transponders to pass through electronic toll-collection lanes can save up to 50 percent on night and weekend rates or 25 percent during other non-peak times.
  • The company agrees not to raise tolls for at least one year into a new program that rewards frequent toll-road users. Frequent four-wheelers will see a 10- to 15-percent decrease in their tolls.
  • The company will add an additional lane of the 407 ETR between Highway 401 and Highway 404 by October 2007.
  • An independent auditor and a government ombudsman will be appointed to advocate for highway users. This includes a provision for the government to deny license renewals for people who don’t pay their tolls.

- David Tanner, staff writer
david_tanner@landlinemag.com

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