407 Highway, the good and the bad of Durham region’s newest highway.

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By: Andrew Sauveur

I’ve lived in Ajax now almost 6 years, having moved here from downtown Toronto for the same reason most people move out to the suburbs, My Wife and I wanted a house, and couldn’t justify the costs of owning a home in Toronto.

I own a small business, and am constantly trotting back and forth across the GTA, and my Wife commutes to north Toronto, so we resigned ourselves to the concept that we would be commuting.

I’ve noticed over the last few years, the volume of traffic is ever increasing, most likely due to urban sprawl with subdivisions being built throughout the GTA, as far as Newcastle, housing workers from Toronto, who are buying a piece of the Canadian dream, home ownership.

A 40km trek from the north end of Toronto, to Ajax, has increased from 45 mins, to over an hour, and that’s when the volume of traffic is decent.    Should there be an accident or other traffic interruption, that trek can increase to 1.5 hours or more.

So we decided this year that we would commute together, and I would get a transponder for the 407.

Now, immediately I can say the prices for the 407 are exorbitant.   I have travelled for work in New York State, and for the same cost (or less), that you can travel across the GTA, one can travel the entire span of New York via toll roads.

Having said that, I find the commute on the 407 far better than on the 401.  It’s not just that the traffic is lighter, (which it normally is), due to the light traffic, drivers are less erratic, and less prone to snap decisions while driving, which makes the driving conditions much less stressful.

The cost of sitting in traffic wasting gas on the 401 is far outweighed by the costs of tolls, however, my nerves are in-tact, and I still have some of my hair.

So the 407 tolls are a necessary evil for some that live and work throughout the GTA, if you can afford them.

The Good:  Considerable time and stress reduction during a daily commute

The Bad:  Costs are far higher than comparable services.