The proceeding future scenario was inspired by ‘Toronto As A Global City’ the Summer 2013 issue of ONBOARD Toronto Region Board of Trade magazine. (READABLE HERE)
TRBOT transportation funding solution in four specific options: regional sales tax, parking space levy, regional fuel tax, and tolls on high occupancy lanes
– Metrolinx approved 25-year $50 billion plan for the GTHA
– City of Toronto staff report (April 16) supported two waves of potential new revenue streams, first consisting of regional sales tax, a gas tax, a parking levy, and development charges; the second wave included high occupancy toll lanes, highway tolls, and a vehicle registration tax
The year is 2038. Link and Cloud wake up to the sounds of oldies music (hits from 1990s) playing on a personal device on the night table. Link picks up the device and checks the Google live satellite view adding the GTHA traffic filter. An alert pops up, “Oh it says the rapid train is running slower today for Wifi tests” Link says. “I can give you a drive to the City.”
Usually Link drives Cloud to the rapid train station in Hamilton. Cloud works in downtown Toronto, only 35 minutes away by Tor-Ham Rocket. Link drives to work near the airport so it’s easy for him to drop Cloud off at the YYZ subway terminal. Not only can they spend some time together but also this way they can take the h.o.t. lane. It’s an extra toll but moving ten minutes faster according to the estimate.
Link and Cloud get in the car and drive to the nearest charging station. It’s plug and pay so Link goes in the store and taps his e-wallet. The cashier at the counter says, “Buddy you smart not driving a guzzler hear they raisin’ the gas tax again extra 5 cents?”
Link laughs “Ha, guess it could be worse. At least the drivers around here don’t have to pay the City tax.” (benefits of living on the Hamilton suburban border)
“Yeah yeah don’t tell me about it, HST 15% plus Metro tax 4% on top the gas tax sshhh no thanks, rather ride the rapid.” says the Cashier.
“Hey, you know it’ll be 20% soon.” Links says as he hops back in to the car.
As they enter the QEW four lane on-ramp a large overhead screen 3-lanes long reads ‘ALERT, all entering this highway consent to a scan of their vehicles O-chip for fee payable to the MTHA. Out of Province vehicles will be tracked’ the forth lane has a line-up of a few cars and a screen that reads ‘All cash and coins enter here’
Cloud mentions “Haven’t paid with paper since 2036.”
Less than 2 kilometers later they drive into the h.o.t. lane and within a few moments they see a car with a solo driver pulled over by a traffic cop. It’s a rare sight these days, usually the gov’t relies on the CCTV to spot the single drivers. Link drops Cloud off at the YYZ subway station then drives over to his office and parks in a reserved spot with his name on it. As it should be, he’s paying an extra $76 a year levy on top of the rental fee not to mention the $435 per year just to register his vehicle. Link plays some more of the oldies stream on his mobile device and thinks to himself how did we manage to quadruple the provincial debt since back then?