Hey Toronto, Want To Reduce Traffic? Invest In Telecommuting

City of TorontoAccording to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), traffic congestion in the Toronto region costs Canada $3.3-billion in lost productivity a year. The news is reporting that the OECD is suggesting Toronto add congestion tolls, new taxes (parking and fuel) as well as high occupancy toll lanes in a move to reduce traffic on GTA (Greater Toronto Area) highways.

But will tax increases ever be enough?  What we need is a smarter solution to this, and the answer is telecommuting.

So you want less cars on the roads in Toronto? Well, how do you want folks to get to work?  I guess you expect them to take the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission or fondly known as Take The Car)?

Ha!

Try taking the Yonge line downtown in the morning and let me know how many trains you have let pass you because they are too full.  Try waiting on a bus in the winter and count how many unfrozen toes you have left when you finally get on a bus with enough space.  And fares are going up, again.

Telecommuting is the perfect solution to Toronto’s congestion issues.  We’ll reduce traffic congestion, increase worker productivity through the reduction/elimination of travel time, and have a potentially profound positive impact on the environment.  Hey, we might even be able to fit riders on a subway car in the mornings.  There are plenty of other benefits, including increased work/family balance, increased job satisfaction, and reduced stress.

I’m sure there are many ways Toronto can encourage companies to adopt telecommuting as a standard way of operating their business, either through tax cuts or other incentives.  It would just take a little creativity instead of just taking the easy way out by just taxing more and more.

If you drive, would you pay added tolls or taxes and continue to drive to work?  What do you think about the idea of working from home?

  • Telecommuting works for so many careers that it irritates me that so many companies are not giving their employees that option. I think it's fear of change, the unknown, and losing control. What they fail to realize is that more often than not, it results to an increase of productivity. Great article to read is Friedle's in INC.

  • Thanks Shevone, do you have a link to that article?

  • I can't find it. I get the actual INC magazine and it was in there. I meant to say Fried from 37Signals. haha

  • H0llywoodWh0re

    Wonderful article, I wouldn't have it any other way. Due to my illness I telecommute but without it I would still work from home, as I enjoy the flexibility. Nights when the pain keeps me up, insomnia kicks in; as a journalist I write my best articles at that time without distractions from my social media addiction but alas the life of a social media journalist 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing your perspective 🙂

  • The problem with telecommuting continues to be the “trust” factor. It's funny how companies can't seem to overcome that hurdle. I honestly would love to telecommute, it'd save me so much money *cough* metropass *cough* … and time.

    On another note… to reduce traffic — Toronto should just set up tolls on roads already like London, England. Forget increasing taxes or TTC fares, we have a transportation budget that has to take care of the roads, set up the tolls and have all the cars coming into Toronto help pay the costs — then use some of that transportation budget to ramp up transit to make it more enticing for people to use.

  • I think the trust factor can be overcome by monitoring and evaluating results — are tasks being completed? Are they up to par? Is communication regular and effective?

    I'd rather not see Toronto turn into London — from what I've heard, it's not exactly something to aspire to.

    If we had a more effective transit system, this wouldn't be a problem. But we build subway lines where they aren't needed and put poorly manage the bus routes.