The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) today announced three key enhancements contained in the Red Tape Reduction bill to Ontario’s Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) Program.
The effort clearly shows the Government of Ontario is committed to reducing red tape and making businesses more competitive while making roads safer and reducing emissions from trucks, says Ontario Trucking Association president Stephen Laskowski.
“OTA and the members of the supply chain operating between Ontario and the Maritimes that benefit from this configuration, applaud the leadership from Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney,” he said.
LCVs are suited to moving relatively light, bulky freight and provide very substantial productivity opportunities for these types of movements. When building new facilities, many shippers are now making LCV access a priority. At the same time, LCVs allow the trucking industry to significantly reduce its carbon footprint (1/3 less GHG’s compared to standard tractor trailers) and highway congestion, improving the environment and highway safety. The changes will further enhance these benefits. OTA estimates that carbon reductions by the current Ontario LCV program are in the range of 6000 tonnes annually. A modest growth of 5% to 10% in the program’s future would result in further GHG emission reductions of 300 to 600 tonnes annually.
LCVS are carefully monitored by MTO, operating under strictly controlled conditions on approved routes using especially highly trained and certified drivers. The program has been in place since 2009 and grown steadily over the years with the addition of more routes, truck configurations and eligible carriers.
The latest round of enhancements will:
- Ease the LCV Program Conditions around peak travel restrictions within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Suggest removal or relaxing conditions currently reflecting no travel between 7:30am and 9:00am and 4:30pm to 6:00pm across the GTA.
- Ease the LCV Program Conditions around Cargo Restrictions based on the safety record of LCV operations in addition to the fact LCVs cannot operate in inclement weather conditions.
- Allow the Parry Sound lay-by to be utilized as an Origin/Destination (O/D) location where carriers can assemble/disassemble LCVs to gain access to freight coming/going from Northern Ontario.
“These improvements further remove logistical red tape from carrier operations and will dramatically increase utilization while delivering further GHG reductions,” said Geoff Wood, senior VP, Policy, Ontario Trucking Association.
In addition to extending benefits to Northern Ontario, the latest changes will set the program up for continued success by attracting more investment and jobs to all areas of Ontario.
Full details to be released shortly by MTO.