Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trip Toll Charge

Having to take my youngest to camp near Gravenhurst, I decided to use Highway 407 to bypass the mayhem of the Toronto and Mississauga area.

I don't mind paying the per kilometre toll. The video toll charge is largely a scam but I'm willing to pay it since I use the 407 less than four round trips a year. But now there is an additional fee: a Trip Toll Charge of 25 cents per trip. What the? Now the 407 ETR is charging me for taking a trip on the 407? I thought that per km toll covered that.

I'm not surprised. It's common in many regulated or non-competitive sectors for various "fees" to sprout up.

The cell phone industry is well known for it's fees. The one-time account set up fee. Network access fee. 911 fee. Hardware upgrade fee. Overage charges. Suddenly that $20 a month plan becomes $30 dollars.

Only decreasing or stagnant traffic volumes and/or increasing fixed costs could explain the need to add a 25 cent toll to each trip. Gee, it's not like they couldn't increase the per km toll by tenth of a cent or so.