Ontario drops lawsuit against Cintra; Cintra agrees to mitigate its aggressive toll collection tactics

Read Driscoll’s blog.

Cintra is known as the most expensive toll operator in the world. The lawsuit by the Province of Ontario affirms this. The lawsuit has recently been dropped as Cintra has agreed to mitigate some of its AGGRESSIVE toll collections tactics. This is who YOUR government is inviting in to control our publucly owned infrastructure in 50 year deals. Read on….

Toll giant gets a break
By Pat Driscoll
April 06, 2006

Things are looking better for Cintra — a Spanish company eyeing a 47-mile toll project in San Antonio — now that it has settled legal disputes plaguing its cash cow in Ontario.

The Province of Ontario recently agreed to drop its lawsuits over Cintra’s toll increases and aggressive collections for 407 ETR, according to TOLLROADSnews.

In return, Cintra will offer toll discounts for frequent users and truckers, hold off on collection agents and credit reporting while dispute resolution processes are under way, give customers better information on appeal options and add new lanes 10 years ahead of schedule.

For more details, see this statement from the Ministry of Transportation and this statement from Cintra.

Within days, Cintra stock began climbing, Bloomberg reported.

“We view this as very positive for Cintra,” an analyst is quoted as saying. “In our view 407 ETR is one of the world’s premier toll roads due to its freedom in setting prices.”

It’s certainly the premier toll road for Cintra, which has more than a dozen highway concessions in six countries. The firm owns 53 percent of the 407 ETR operation and last year reaped 40 percent of its total revenues from the highway, the Bloomberg story said.

Sydney-based Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group own the rest. Macquarie and Cintra have also teamed up to run the Indiana Toll Road and the Chicago Skyway, but are competing in San Antonio to take over proposed toll lanes on Loop 1604 and U.S. 281.

Meanwhile, tolls on 407 ETR aren’t expected to be raised again until next year, Ontario officials say.