Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Route 407 ETR - Modern Day Highway Bandits !



      I'm a U.S. citizen who received a "mystery" bill for $18.50 TWO months after my trip to Hamilton , Canada coming from Upstate NY.  I googled for an explanation of what 407 ETR was.
      Upon reading Wikipedia I was livid, appalled, and furious regarding what I now perceive as a "tourist trap" en route to Hamilton, Canada.
   Like pirates and bandits of old who used to prey (in person) on unsuspecting stagecoaches & boats passing in unfamiliar territory, the private owners of RT 407 are not only ambiguous, but elusive & evasive highway bandits to unsuspecting first time travelers thru that area.
       Even with a new "question mark" added to their already ambiguous signs to somehow avoid confusion, how the hell were we to know what the hell a "transponder " was while driving 35mph and trying to figure out the impressive array of cameras looming forward in the distance like Orwell's Big Brother?
    I'm also noting the distance from the incredibly ambiguous sign to the frame structure , as well as no toll " booth" or slowing down barrier which we Americans would signify as the manned or unmanned (EasyPass) money "receiver."
     The ETR video equipped metal structure to an American, resembles the spying video cameras on our roadways used to catch drivers violating the traffic or other laws, which is what I thought it was when I drove under it and then again when I received this bill yesterday. I thought I'd been observed breaking a law! Then I thought, "What law? I didn't throw a finger at or speed thru the cameras  or break any laws that I'm aware of ?!"
    Then I called the number on the ambiguous bill.  They had no mercy, compassion or recourse for first time tourists caught in this transportation trap!
Does this sign tell you all you need to know 
about the video cameras in the distance to the right?
My suggestion? Get new signs:
" YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A 407 ETR TOLL VIDEO AREA/ROAD: 
Pay the (unexplained, overpriced, egregious!) toll 
or risk your life turning back on a one way ramp! "

WTF is a transponder ?!! 
Where do I buy one in the next 30 seconds while driving, before I hit ...what , where, ..what toll ?
Too late! $18.15 later.......15 cents?

             This is pure corporate for profit only entrapment, very bad for your local tourism.
Put up a toll booth or redo the signs: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A 407 ETR TOLL VIDEO AREA: Pay the (unexplained, overpriced, egregious!) toll or turn back!
      Wikipedia stated that there is also a law suit pending between the private owners and the province of Ontario ? Does anyone have updated information on this lawsuit ?
       I am choosing to pay this bill because I expect to continue traveling to and from Canada and choose to obey this particular Canadian law no matter how illegal it appears. (They stated on the phone that my fee was doubled because they had to video tape my license plate in order to charge me the toll fee!! I had to pay for a bill to be sent to ME ?!!) I try to avoid problems when I can.
      I love Canada and Canadian people, but not the private for profit thieves that do things like this no matter what country, including my own, and we've done plenty I know. However as I usually do with other forms of scams and injustices, I'll be spreading the word far and wide to warn people of this "trap," and probably embarrassment to the local community & province.
     It's caused me to think twice about returning to that area at all. I wonder how your local merchants feel about that ? I'm sure I'm not the first to feel that way. If anything I may return just to support the local merchants because of it, and I will definitely boycott this roadway.  But I'm hoping the local merchants are using their votes, signatures on petitions & purses to protest this privatization of a public roadway, like on this petition : http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/407etr/

407 ETR in Canada
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Highway_407

Sincerely,
:DMagone
Upstate NY
USA
deborahmagone.com
   

3 comments:

tammyflores91 said...

OMG! I really appreciate your blog entry on this! I am the founder of the group "Stop the 407ETR's Abuse of Power".

This is a very long saga, however, I have been writing for a local community paper called the "Toronto Caribbean" quite extensively on this topic and have all the collection of writing at www.407etr-abuseofpower.com

To answer you question, that "court case" (or should I say horse and pony show) wrapped up in 2006.

Basically, the ruling political party made it appear as if they were taking these corporate bandits to task for their breaches of law... settled with them and now are doing more business with them.

That is the version in a nutshell, but if you read some of the articles posted on our website, your hair will stand on ends for what it happening here.

I love Americans! There was a fellow in Virginia that tried to put out a PSA too.

If more Canadians would do what you did, we could reign these SOB's in.

The petition we have been using is at https://campaign.to/StopThe407EtrsAbuseOfPower/petition/13/

Leo Chan said...

Hello! I just received my bill today for $25.36! I was traveling from Buffalo, NY to near the Toronto area. I figured the toll would be anywhere from $3-$10 and not a big deal so I was surprised when I got the bill. This 407 is ridiculous from what I've read online!!!

Enrique Daniel Rosas said...

I'm Canadian. I Used 407 ETR once by accident and I paid the bill right away. I got this receipt from them confirming my payment.
Today I went to pickup my mail and I found a bill from this idiots $12.95
for a trip that it never happens.
From an area that never drive by. Something is going on here, some kind of a monkey business with the knowledge of our government