OAKVILLE, ONT. — Ontario has opened the third round of permit applications and renewals for Canada’s first High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes.
The HOT lanes are on 16.5 kilometres of the QEW in both directions, from Trafalgar Road in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington.
Vehicles with two or more occupants, or with green licence plates, can travel in the lanes for free, while drivers of single-occupant vehicles can apply to purchase a permit, states a Ministry of Transportation release.
The province has said that the goals of the new program were to improve traffic flow, maximize highway capacity and help manage congestion.
Applications and renewals are now open until Feb. 28, 2017. The permits will be valid from April 1 to June 30, 2017. Permits cost $180 and are renewable for a maximum of two terms. Permit applications will be accepted each February, May, August and November and can be submitted at Ontario.ca/HOTLanes.
Up to 1,000 HOT permits will be made available for each three-month term. If an applicant is not successful in the draw, they can enter a future draw during the HOT lanes pilot project, which is expected to last two to four years.
Ontario has started including HOT lanes provisions in GTHA highway expansion projects currently in design or under construction, beginning with Highways 410 and 427.