Say Goodbye to Toronto Traffic Congestion with HOT Lanes

The Ministry of Transportation, Ontario, has opened a round of applications and renewals to get permit for Canada’s first High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on the QEW. The lane stretches from Trafalgar Road in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington, i.e., across 16.5 km section in both the directions on the QEW.

It was initiated in September 2016 as a pilot project to deal with the rising problem of Toronto traffic by converting the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes into HOT lanes. It is expected to last for 2 to 4 years. These lanes are introduced with the goal of reducing congestion and building a commuter-friendly network, thus keeping the region free from traffic.

Rules & Regulations for Permit Application & Renewal

  • The permit application will be valid for a 3 months’ term.

  • The cost of permit is $60 CAD per month or $180 CAD as one-time fee.

  • Maximum of 1,000 HOT permits will be made available for every 3 month’s term. It’ll be distributed on the basis of draw.

  • Permit holders who have renewed their permits twice, must re-enter the application draw.

  • Applications for purchasing or renewing the permit (open now) will be valid from July 1 to September 30, 2017.

  • Permits will be accepted in the months of February, May, August and November each year.
Benefits to the Travellers

As discussed above, you need to pay and take permit for using these convenient lanes. Then how is it beneficial? Here’s the catch. Vehicles with two or more passengers, licensed taxis, buses, emergency vehicles, airport limousines and green license plate holders are free to travel through these lanes without any fee. But vehicles with single occupant have to pay for a permit.

Therefore, HOT lanes is beneficial for airline travellers who struggle with the traffic while on their way to airports. The unrestricted access of airport limousines and licensed taxis will enable them to travel through these lanes and be on time for their flights without much expense and trouble.

Another advantage of this pilot project is promotion of carpools. Since, vehicles with just one occupant will be charged, people will be encouraged to share their vehicles. This will save their time, reduce congestion and maintain an efficient traffic flow in the province.

Other Initiatives

This pilot project will act as a source to gather information for other future HOT lane projects. This will include HOT Lanes in Greater Toronto Hamilton Area highway expansion projects which is currently under construction, expected to open by 2021. It will be commencing with Highways 410 and 427.

Other initiative complemented by HOT lanes include the GO Regional Express Rail that is expected to upsurge GO train trips by 50% in the coming 5 years.

The HOT lanes pilot is a great addition to the province for managing congestion and ensuring smooth flow of traffic in the region. It will provide more commuting option to the people and help them get away with the traffic trouble in their everyday lives.


Awais Ahmed is a student, blogger and digital marketer who helps small entrepreneurs to improve their online presence. He has a range of interests including technology, apps and small business.

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