Commuters willing to pay for time savings and predictable travel time
TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Commuters in the Toronto and Hamilton
region of Ontario save about 26 minutes a day on average by using 407
Express Toll Route (ETR), according to a new report by The Conference
Board of Canada, Travel Time and Reliability: An Analysis of Commuting on 407 ETR.
"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."
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.
Workers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) face the longest
average commute times in Canada, at 33 minutes one-way (66 total
minutes per day). And nearly 30 per cent of these workers have commutes
of 45 minutes or more (90 minutes per day).
Direct charges for road use —such as tolls—are not widely used in
Canada, most likely because Canadians are not accustomed to them, even
though they are common in other developed countries (for instance,
total annual toll revenues are approximately $30 billion in the United
States). The biggest exception in Canada is the 108-kilometre 407 ETR,
the world's first all-electronic open access toll highway through the
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
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.
Other potential benefits from driving in less-congested traffic include:
reduced fuel consumption—although the observed savings were small
compared to the time savings;
lower vehicle maintenance costs—through reduced wear-and-tear on
qualitative (i.e. quality of life) benefits that commuters may enjoy as
a result of a more predictable and consistent commute.
Financial support for this research was provided by 407 ETR.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613-526-3090 ext. 221,