Regulation - Minister

Allowing Single-Occupant Taxis in Provincial HOV lanes

Regulation Number(s):
O.Reg 620/05
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Highway Traffic Act
Summary of Decision:
Effective July 1, 2012, a 3-year pilot to allow single-occupant (driver only) taxicabs, livery cabs and airport limousines to use provincial High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes will commence. Before the commencement of this pilot, only taxicabs, livery cabs and airport limousines were permitted to use the HOV lanes if there were two or more people in the vehicle. An amendment to the existing Minister's Regulation governing HOV lane use (Ontario Regulation 620-05) will be made.

To be eligible to participate in the pilot, these vehicles must display a rear mounted taxicab or limousine registration plate issued by either the municipality or the airport authority which has licensed the vehicle to provide passenger transportation services.

The Ministry of Transportation will monitor the pilot during the 3 year period for effects on the HOV lanes and for any issues that may be identified.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
May 4, 2012
Summary of Proposal:
This ministry is considering changing the existing regulation on eligibility requirements for vehicular access to provincial High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. Provincial HOV lanes are intended to increase the efficiency of our transportation network by moving more people in fewer vehicles and by encouraging transportation alternatives to driving alone.

The province is proposing to initiate a 3 year pilot to allow single-occupant taxis and airport limousines to use provincial HOV lanes. Currently, taxis and airport limousines with a passenger are permitted to use provincial HOV lanes. Allowing single-occupant taxis to use HOV lanes supports mobility choice for people who cannot or choose not to drive. Vehicles that are not licensed as taxis or airport limousines by a municipality will not be granted access to provincial HOV lanes.

HOV lanes are currently reserved for vehicles carrying two or more people and offer travel time savings as an incentive for people to carpool or choose transit rather than driving alone. As of July 1, 2010, drivers of eligible plug-in electric vehicles may also use the lanes, regardless of vehicle occupancy, for a five-year period, provided they purchase specially designated green licence plates. HOV lanes currently operate on Highways 403, 404, and 417, and the Queen Elizabeth Way.

An amendment to the existing Minister's Regulation governing HOV lane use (Ontario Regulation 620-05) is required to permit access to HOV lanes by single-occupant taxis and airport limousines.
Contact Address:
Provincial Planning Office
Transportation Planning Branch
Ministry of Transportation
777 Bay Street, Suite 3000
Toronto, ON M7A 2J8
Phone: 1-800-201-3207
Fax: 416-585-7324
Effective Date:
July 1, 2012