30 seconds or 30 minutes?
Get the facts about how much time the GTA West corridor would save you
“The GTA West will only save people 30 seconds.”
You may have heard that figure being cited a lot recently. But is it true?
Well actually, the GTA West corridor would save the people who use it up to 30 minutes each way.
The 30-second figure is from a study done in 2017 that looked at the average time savings across the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). It includes every trip on every road in every region – including places that are nowhere near the proposed GTA West Highway and Transit Corridor. So, a trip from Oshawa to Whitby for example, or from Niagara to St. Catharines would be included in that average.
Of course, on any given day once it’s built, most people in the GGH won’t use the GTA West highway. Just like most people today don’t use Highway 401, or Highway 427, or the DVP. Thousands do, but most of us don’t.
So, will the GTA West corridor make a significant difference for someone travelling from Hamilton to Niagara Falls? Of course not. But for the people who live, work or travel through the western part of the GTA it would have a huge impact. People who travel the full length of the highway – from Vaughan to Milton – would save up to 30 minutes each way. That’s a life-changing amount of time. It’s the difference between calling home to say goodnight and tucking your kids into bed yourself.
But shouldn’t a project that costs billions benefit everyone? It should and it will, though the benefits may vary. The GTA West would have huge economic benefits for Ontario, but not everyone will enjoy the direct benefit of time savings.
Imagine an area that desperately needed a new hospital. Building a new one would provide thousands of people with access to healthcare in their community. Now imagine if we looked at the wait times for every other hospital in the area and found that they would only be reduced by an average of 30 seconds. Would we still build the hospital? Of course we would, because the people who live near it need it.
It’s the same principle. If we used average regional time savings to decide whether to build highway and transit projects we’d never build any of them. The 404, the QEW, your GO Line – pick any highway or transit line you travel regularly. Now imagine that it didn’t exist. What would your commute be like?
The GTA needs better infrastructure and this project will deliver that. Our transportation network isn’t about one project – that’s why we call it a network. It’s about connections. It’s about options. To keep up with the GTA’s booming population growth, we need new infrastructure or we’ll face devastating congestion. That’s why Ontario is making record-setting investments in public transit and it’s why we need to move forward with new highway projects like the GTA West.