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Discussion Starter #1
Do you drive in the HOV lanes in Ontario using your Green Plate exemption? I do. Did you know that it's ending on June 30, 2016? Yup. Take a look at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/vehicles/electric/green-licence-plate.shtml .

I called the MTO and they were surprised by this, and said that it makes no sense. I talked to some people I know who work at MTO, and they said it's ridiculous, and must be a mistake. This government is all about incentivizing the purchase and use of green vehicles, so why would they take away the one incentive that costs them nothing?

I'm pissed off, and I'm trying to do something about it. I've emailed my MPP, and he has sent a letter to the Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca. I've also emailed the NDP transportation critic, Wayne Gates, and the PC transportation critic, Michael Harris. I have yet to receive a response from anyone. I have also sent a message to the minister through the MTO website, here: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/about/feedback/minister-feedback.shtml , and I invite you to do the same. I have tried to get traction in the media for this, with no luck so far, but if other voices speak out on this, maybe someone will listen.

Please call your MPP. Please write a message to Steven Del Duca letting him know that this makes no sense. If you know anyone in the media, please lean on them to make this a story. Write a letter to the editor. Help do something, or as of July 1st, you'll be stuck sitting in stopped traffic...with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
See also here in the Highway Traffic Act where it states that paragraph 9 (which allows the use of green plated vehicles in the HOV lanes) is revoked as of July 1. It also revoked access for taxis and limousines with only one occupant, so maybe they'll be onside in fighting this, too.
 

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Wait till they take down the grew plate signs on the HOV lanes (they won't), can't give a ticket if that sign is still in place!
 

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The expiration date has been extended before. Hopefully this is already in the works. You might try contacting the Minister of Environment and Climate Change as well, since his ministry is the driving force behind these initiatives.
 

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As Breezy says, it's been extended in the past, and I expect it will be again. It won't affect me much - in the four years I've had GV plates I've never been in a HOV lane.

Since the idea of the HOV lane is to reduce the number of cars on the highway by increasing the number of passengers in each, I've never really seen the justification for this perk anyway. One person in a Volt takes up as much space as one person in any other car, except maybe a smart car, and I don't get a free pass for that. Which is the problem: congestion or emissions?

Just my $.02 worth, rounded down of course to $.00.
 

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I have used the HOV lanes, but in my neck of the woods, I seldom get to make use them. When I do, there's someone riding my back-side because they feel the need to do 140 KM/Hr or more as they view the HOV lane as the 'hammer lane' + 10KM/Hr faster. I'd rather maximize my range, cruise along and enjoy the ride.

I can see how the HOV lane would be dearly missed for those doing regular commutes along the QEW or 404 during rush hour.
 

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I have had this before, but if I am doing somewhere between 100-115 km/hr and they want to do 140 then they can either sit on my ass the whole way or go around me on the inside lanes. Don't care. Not getting a ticket for them. When the roads are busy I am still doing 90 km faster than the other lanes!
I have used the HOV lanes, but in my neck of the woods, I seldom get to make use them. When I do, there's someone riding my back-side because they feel the need to do 140 KM/Hr or more as they view the HOV lane as the 'hammer lane' + 10KM/Hr faster. I'd rather maximize my range, cruise along and enjoy the ride.

I can see how the HOV lane would be dearly missed for those doing regular commutes along the QEW or 404 during rush hour.
 

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There has been some proposed amendments put forward in the HTA regarding HOV lane access. MTO wants to give green plated vehicles access to the HOV PERMANENTLY. Comments already ended. Hope it gets approved.

See here

Edit: I just realized that this link has already been shared by @outdoorsaddix. Oops. Sorry!
 

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Let's also keep in mind that MTO has jurisdiction only over provincial highways, not over those policed by Toronto or other municipalities who may have their own rules. You have to watch for the signs.
 

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I think you jumped the gun a little there, OP.
There have been many public articles about the government's plans for EVs going forward, and one of them was continuing the HOV exemption.
Every year since 2010 it has had an automatic expiry date of 30th of June, and each time it has been renewed.

Take a deep breath, count to 3, and everything will be alright :)
 

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Since the idea of the HOV lane is to reduce the number of cars on the highway by increasing the number of passengers in each, I've never really seen the justification for this perk anyway.
Well of course the idea is to kill two birds with one stone. If you've gone to the trouble to build HOV lanes and if they're not at capacity, then you can use them to incentivize electric vehicles. That way you get some environmental benefits out of them as well as prompting people to behave in ways that reduce congestion.

But if the lanes are too congested to handle more traffic or if the number of EVs that will use them is excessive then it's not going to achieve either benefit very well.
 

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Since the idea of the HOV lane is to reduce the number of cars on the highway by increasing the number of passengers in each, I've never really seen the justification for this perk anyway. One person in a Volt takes up as much space as one person in any other car, except maybe a smart car, and I don't get a free pass for that. Which is the problem: congestion or emissions?
Actually I believe the government's official version of events is that they want to ensure "consistent travel times" for good stewards of the environment: electric car drivers, motorcycles, buses, car poolers, etc. So the HOV lanes allow faster flow than non HOV during rush hours... and that's it.

That said, I don't get how taking a taxi or a limo qualifies you for HOV, as it pollutes the same as one's own personal ICE car...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I did a small article on this, there is a proposal in the works to extend it, but I don't have any more updates past that. I have been keeping an eye on it every day.

More information can be found here:

https://gtevs.blogspot.ca/2016/04/the-future-of-ontario-ev-hov-lane-access.html
Interesting how you spoke to the people at the MTO booth at the auto show. I did as well, about this exact thing, and they said they had no idea that it was set to expire or why. I also brought up questions about why the rebate program for level 2 chargers at home only applied to those who received EV incentives to buy their cars brand new, and not to those who buy used EVs, as we also need to charge our cars. Again, they said it's a good point, but they had no idea.
 

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Ministry just updated their site regarding HOV lanes http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/ontario-511/hov-lanes.shtml
It's not a done deal, but just about!

Using HOV lanes

You can use an HOV lane if you have at least two people (including the driver) in one of these vehicles :
cars
motorcycles
vans or light trucks
commercial trucks less than 6.5 meters long with a gross weight of 4,500 kg or less.
If you are towing a trailer, you can still use the HOV lane if the combined vehicle-trailer length is less than 6.5 meters.
The following vehicles have unrestricted access to HOV lanes, no matter how many passengers they are carrying :
buses of all types
licensed taxis and airport limousines (currently until June 30, 2016; ministry has proposed to extend until June 30, 2018)
emergency vehicles
electric vehicles with green licence plates (currently until June 30, 2016; ministry has proposed to make it permanent)
 

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Permanent! Wow. Wish there was an additional HOV lane on the 401 stretch between Mississauga and Milton...
 

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"Permanent" is meaningless in a term.
It's only permanent until the next government change and that one decides to strike out that line of law. Or even the current government decides EVs are plentiful and no longer need perks.
Could be 3 years or 30 or 300, but it's never really 'permanent'.
It strictly means "Until the next policy revision".
 

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But it's better than "June 30, 2017". ;)
 
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