5 Things To Know
Study Finds Toll Roads Unavoidable if We’re Serious About Reducing Traffic. Police Launch Pedestrian Safety Campaign “STEP UP And Be Safe”. Taxi Fares Dropping by $1. Ontario Increases Hydro Rates Again. Beer Prices Increase in Ontario.+**Royals Rally to Win World Series in Game 5.**
Study Finds Toll Roads Unavoidable if We’re Serious About Reducing Traffic
There is a way to combat traffic gridlock, and according to a private think-tank, the answer lies in having drivers paying more for the privilege. The Ecofiscal Commission, a private and non-partisan think-tank which looks at different ways to protect the environment, says motorists in many other countries pay tolls to use roads and bridges, and it’s time Canada caught up. It says by bringing in the fee, many drivers will be encouraged to make the switch to public transit, which would mean fewer vehicles on the road. Gridlock costs the City of Toronto about $7 billion dollars a year, and the Commission is firm in suggesting that all 3 levels of government get together to explore congestion pricing policies. It has made 4 recommendations to ease gridlock. They are:
-Major Canadian cities should implement congestion pricing pilot projects, customized to their local context.
-Provincial governments should initiate, enable, or facilitate congestion pricing pilot projects.
-The Federal government should help fund pilot projects.
-Governments should carefully evaluate the performance of pilot projects, communicate the results broadly, and incorporate lessons learned into future mobility policies
For the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area specifically, it suggests the conversion of HOV lanes to HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes, or building HOT lane capacity on the provincially owned 400-series highways as a practical approach to reduce congestion.
Police Launch Pedestrian Safety Campaign “STEP UP And Be Safe”
The arrival of November has not only ushered in higher electricity and beer prices, as well as the end of Daylight Saving Time, but this is traditionally the month police see an increase in the number of pedestrian-related crashes. They’ve launched another pedestrian safety campaign, called “STEP UP and Be Safe”, aimed at keeping more people alert on the roads, which are shared with motorists. Data from police indicates pedestrian fatalities make up approximately 60% of yearly traffic fatalities in the city. To date, 30 pedestrians have died from injuries sustained in collisions, which represents over 56% of the total of all traffic fatalities in Toronto from January 2015 to date. And seniors, in particular, are among the most vulnerable sector of road-users. There have been 17 senior pedestrian fatalities, representing 56% of pedestrian fatalities, to date. The campaign runs from November 2 to November 8, and police will be watching for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who commit offences in crosswalks, intersections, school zones and crossing areas frequented by seniors. Pedestrians are encouraged to avoid using distracting electronic devices when interacting with vehicular traffic. Watch the public safety awareness video here.
Taxi Fares Dropping by $1
In order to stay competitive against Uber, starting today taxi base fares will drop from $4.25 to $3.25. The decision was voted on by city council in October. Proponents of the decrease say it will ensure that the taxi industry remains strong against all new comers.
Ontario Increases Hydro Rates Again
Ontarians are waking up to higher hydro rates this morning. The cost of electricity during peak hours spiked yesterday, jumping 8.7 per cent. The hike is expected to raise residential and business hydro bill about 3.4 per cent annually. Comparatively in 2010 the average home owner spent around $100 in hydro costs. Today that number is up by close to 30%.Yet another hike is expected at the beginning of the year.
Meanwhile, public hearings into Ontario Power Generation’s application to extend the life of a nuclear plant will begin today. O.P.G. is hoping to renew its operating licence for the Darlington Nuclear Generating station. The company says the plant provides enough power to serve 20 per cent of the province’s needs. Their current operating licences expires next month.
Beer Prices Increase in Ontario
The cost of beer has increased across Ontario and this is the first of four price hikes that will take place on November 1st each year until 2018. Customers will now have to pay an extra 25 cents on a 24 pack, which is the result of the provincial beer tax rising three cents per litre. The provincial government has issued an order to have bigger brewing companies pay part of the tax increase until 2017.
Royals Rally to Win World Series in Game 5
Blue Jays fans might not like but the Kansas City Royals are World Series champions. The Royals beat the New York Mets 7-2 in game 5 after 12 innings and for Royals manager Ned Yost, it feels pretty good. Kansas City’s last World Series title was 30 years ago, back in 1985. The World Series MVP was no shocker, going to Royals catcher Salvador Perez., who hit .364 in the series.