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?