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OTA condemns Toronto plan to ban trucks during rush hour

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) wasted no time in responding to a proposal by a Toronto cit...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) wasted no time in responding to a proposal by a Toronto city councillor that would see a ban on truck deliveries during rush hour in Toronto.

Coun. Michael Walker is expected to make the proposal to ban truck deliveries in downtown Toronto between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

OTA president David Bradley was quick to point out that trucks serving the downtown core must do so while there’s a shipper or consignee to hand off or receive the goods.

“If there was a way that trucks could avoid having to make pick-ups and deliveries during the periods of highest traffic congestion, we would do so. The costs of congestion are enormous for the trucking industry. All our trucks have lights on them,” says Bradley. “Delivery schedules are not established by the trucking industry. Our customers in this case the businesses located in the downtown core dictate when and where our trucks pick-up and deliver goods. The problem is, and has always been, that few businesses in the core are 24/7 enterprises. They need to be convinced to take on the additional cost of having staff available to receive or load goods during off-peak times.”

Bradley urged City Council to instead explore ways to decrease the amount of commuter traffic in downtown Toronto.

“The major contributors to congestion are not the trucks it is cars, many of which are occupied by a sole person,” Bradley points out. “It would seem to us that with all the new investment in transit which is supposedly designed to get people out of their cars a reasonable alternative exists for most of these motorists. No such alternative exists, however, for the businesses that rely on trucks to deliver goods. There are, for example, no rail lines running into the Eaton Centre.”

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