Gouged by your own decisions

It baffles my mind when I read letters like this:

Gouged by Hwy. 407 tolls Jan 05, 2009 04:30 AM Re:Toll rates on Highway 407 up in 2009, Jan. 1

When will the government step in to help those of us outside the GTA who are getting gouged by the 407?

I am a working mother of three boys who lives in Durham and works in Peel. As a result I must use the 407 to commute to work each day; there is no other viable option. My monthly bills have now reached $434.92 – almost $6,000 a year – to use a service that everyone else in the province of Ontario enjoys for free – a highway. I am outraged by the lack of government control or restrictions on the tolls charged. My monthly toll bills now equal my car payments.

Carrie Hunter, Uxbridge

I have a suggestion for the young lady - take the 401 if you don't like the cost.  Better yet, move to Peel and be closer to work.  You'll save yourself those dollars.

Yes I know the 401 would add more time to your commute.  But evidently you've weighed the opportunity cost and feel that getting to work faster is worth the expense.  If you no longer think it's worth the cost, change your habits.  Nobody is forcing you to take the 407.

In fact, if the price of driving the 407 was lowered, it would mean more people would take it, resulting in longer commute times.  Cheap driving just encourages more traffic, just like cheap gas made you think it was a good idea to drive across the GTA for work everyday.

We need more roads like the 407 in the GTA.  All of the region's major highways should have tolls with various pricing depending on the time of day and relative congestion.  Not only it would it offer much needed funding to support infrastructure improvements (notice how much nicer the 407 is to drive compared to the pot-holed 401?); but, as suggested by Metrolinx, road tolls would also provide revenue to fund new transit infrastructure that could offer alternatives to drivers in the GTA.  More importantly though, it would force people to consider their driving habits and, just maybe, save a few dollars by making more economical decisions - like not driving from Durham to Peel for work everyday.