407: she loves me; she loves me not?

October 10th, 2017

Commuters of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are plagued by the question of whether to take 407 in their daily commute, or not. People come up with different heuristics from listening to traffic news, anticipating good/bad weather, guessing traffic conditions on a particular day of the week to avoiding rush hours, working from home and using public transportation.

The question boils down to time versus money. Most of us have limited cash and cannot afford the luxury of taking 407 without a nagging thought of toll. I developed an analytical model to decide whether to take 407 during peak times (6am to 10am; 2.30pm to7pm) of weekdays. The model trades off the toll value vs. personal time, and is aimed at a typical passenger car with a transponder installed. Given your annual salary and distance to travel over 407, the model provides a simple yes or no answer. Instead of double, triple guessing the traffic conditions and then regretting taking 407 or not, leave it up to a model to decide. Check it out and let us know if you find it useful.