Ontario Banning Road Tolls, Freezing Driver’s Licence Fees to Keep Costs Down

In Provincial

Province also saving drivers time by automating licence plate renewal process

The Ontario government is keeping costs down for drivers by introducing legislation that would, if passed, ban tolls on provincial highways. This ban would apply to the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway once uploaded to the province, as well as the province’s 400-series highways.

“Our government under the leadership of Premier Ford is on a mission to keep costs down for families and businesses,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation. “First, we scrapped the tolls on Highways 412 and 418, now we’re protecting drivers from the costs of new tolls. Together with our cut in the gas tax and eliminating the licence plate sticker fee, we’re saving drivers hundreds of dollars every year.”

To further keep costs down for people, the province is also proposing to make the current freeze on driver’s licence and Ontario Photo Card fees permanent through legislation, saving drivers an estimated $66 million over the next five years. By legislating the current freeze, which was originally put in place through regulation and which has saved applicants $22 million since 2019, the government is ensuring that any future increases can only be made through legislation.

The province is also proposing to save drivers time by automating the licence plate renewal process starting this summer, saving vehicle owners more than 900,000 hours each year. This follows recent action by the government to eliminate the cost of renewing your vehicle permit. Until the automatic renewal process begins, drivers are still required to renew their licence plates at no cost, which can be done online or in person at ServiceOntario. The automatic renewal process will only be available to drivers in good standing who do not have outstanding fines or tickets.

These measures are part of upcoming legislation that will kick off the spring sitting of the legislature on February 20, 2024. The Get It Done Act will include a variety of measures that, if passed, would build on the government’s commitments to date to streamline approvals for major infrastructure projects and housing, keep costs down for people and businesses, and support economic growth for long-term prosperity.

With Ontario’s population expected to grow by five million people over the next decade, the province is moving forward with building Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass. These highways will bring relief to one of the most congested corridors in North America, helping commuters save 30 minutes a trip so they can spend time doing what matters most to them.

Over the next ten years, Ontario is also investing more than $70 billion to transform public transit in the province, which includes the largest subway expansion in Canadian history, including the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and the Yonge North Subway Extension. The province is also moving forward with plans to extend the Hazel McCallion Light Rail Transit line by building the Mississauga loop and bringing the line into downtown Brampton and is calling on the federal government to join in a cost-sharing partnership to deliver two-way, all-day GO service on the Milton line.

Quick Facts

  • If passed, the proposed legislation would amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act to prohibit Ontario from introducing new tolls on provincial highways and potentially require public consultation before considering new tolls.
  • If passed, the proposed legislation would ensure any future increases for driver’s licence renewals or Ontario Photo Cards would require a legislative amendment.
  • Highways 412 and 418 have not been tolled since April 2022. Removing tolls on these highways is expected to save drivers $68 million between 2022-27.
Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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