New years bring various changes, whether that's resolutions, new music or TV to immerse yourself in, or differences in your day-to-day finances. Well, the province has a particular development in the works on that last score. The Ontario Highway 407 Express Toll Route is introducing seasonal pricing for 2020, and here's how it breaks down.
In a release issued by the 407 ETR Concession Company Ltd. on Tuesday, December 31, it was outlined that 407 ETR users will now have to start spending more dollar to use the route during the summer period.
Thar "summer period" is defined as May 1 to October 31, so it actually lasts for six months.
So, for 50% of 2020, you'll have to pay more than usual to beat traffic on the 407.
According to the release, the logic behind the seasonal rates is to make more of an effort to reflect traffic trends throughout the year. It notes summer traffic is apparently up to 25% heavier than in spring and winter.
In a bid to meet the increased traffic, the route is expected to add around 30 kilometres of new routes in 2020. By the end of next summer, it's predicted 90% of the highway will be operating at maximum lane capacity.
So, you're basically paying more to use the road when it's busier. Supply, meet demand.
[rebelmouse-image 25963275 photo_credit="407 ETR Concession Company Limited" expand=1 original_size="1336x658"]
[rebelmouse-image 25963277 photo_credit="407 ETR Concession Company Limited" expand=1 original_size="1330x654"]
It should be noted that in addition to the new seasonal disparity, toll prices will still vary based on the time of day, the day of the week, the weight of the vehicle, the direction of travel, and the section of the highway used, per The Canadian Press.
So, for instance, let's look at commutes for 9-5 jobs as a particular example.
In Zone 2, which spans the length of the 407 between Highway 401 and Highway 427 north of Toronto, an eastbound commute at around 8 a.m. would cost 56.44 cents per kilometre between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2020.
Between May 1 and October 31, that same commute would cost over three cents per km more, at 59.58. That might sound not like much, but it'll add up, particularly if you're one of the many GTA residents who commute from afar.
With so many variations affecting the toll you pay, you can work out the effect on your own commute with the 407's toll generator here.
The release adds that other charges and fees such as the transponder fee and camera fins will remain at 2019 levels.
A full list of those other charges and fees can be found here.
According to 407 ETR President and Chief Executive Officer Andres Sacristan, customers report that using the 407 ETR saves them anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour of driving time per trip, so you can see why it's a popular route.
Just be prepared to be paying more once the warm weather hits. Maybe which drivers paying more per trip, they'll finally raise that speed limit.
It's starting to happen on other 400-series highways, after all.