Report finds moving trucks to Hwy 407 would save approx. 80 minutes of travel time for truckers and remove 12-21,000 trucks per day from Hwy 401, making Hwy 413 unnecessary

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – A new report released today, The Freight Escape: How to Get Trucks Off the 401 Without Blowing a Hole in the Greenbelt, finds that subsidizing the toll on the 407 ETR for truckers is a win-win solution for commuters and the trucking industry. Commissioned by Environmental Defence with input from Transport Action Ontario, the research report by Eunomia shows that moving trucks from Highway 401 to the 407 will alleviate congestion for all road users and reduce journey times for truck drivers. This would make building Highway 413 unnecessary, saving taxpayers at least $6 billion and protecting valuable natural spaces including 2000 acres of farmland and 400 acres of Greenbelt.

“Traffic congestion in the GTHA is a big problem, especially for the trucking and hauling sector. Travel times are long, wasted fuel costs are high and everybody  agrees that action needs to be taken. The Ontario government could make things better by putting trucks on the 407 immediately, but instead is pushing Highway 413 as an expensive, destructive and sprawl-enabling alternative that has been shown by previous studies to save drivers less than 60 seconds. In fact, the highway would be nothing but another favour to friends of Premier Doug Ford who stand to benefit from sprawl at the expense of the rest of Ontario,” said Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence.

The Freight Escape report finds that moving trucks to the 407 will:

  • Move 12,000 to 21,000 trucks a day off Highway 401 reducing daily traffic for passenger vehicle drivers.

  • Cost $6 billion less than constructing the proposed Highway 413. Subsidizing the 407 trucking toll is estimated to cost $4 billion, which would be paid over a 30 year period and would help fund the pensions of Canadians as it is majority owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The Ontario government has not revealed a cost estimate for building Highway 413, but estimates cited in the media are as high as $10 billion.

  • Reduce cost and journey time for truck drivers: using Highway 407 will improve journey times for truckers by approx. 80 minutes, which would be less than half the length of time than the equivalent trip on Highway 401.

  • Conserve local natural spaces, including 2000 acres of farmland and 400 acres of Greenbelt land, that would be paved by Highway 413.

“The trucking industry and the driving public would benefit from less gridlock on the 401 and all of us will be richer – financially and environmentally – if Highway 413 is not built and Highway 407 is used properly,” continued Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence.

”In addition to saving truckers time and money, and saving Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars, the 407 trucking option can be implemented almost immediately, resulting in instant relief rather than years of construction.” said Peter Miasek, President, Transport Action Ontario.

The full report is available here.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Carolyn Townend, Environmental Defence,