Do you regularly use GO Transit?
If so, you might have to pay for parking in the future.
On Jan. 14, news broke that Metrolinx, the province’s transit agency, is considering charging for some GO station parking spots that are currently free.
The transit agency says no decisions have been made and nothing has changed at this point.
“We have the fastest-growing ridership in North America and our GO services are very popular. Our ridership has increased over 5.3 per cent this past year alone and we have increased our services by more than 35 per cent over the last two years,” Nitish Bissonauth, media relations, Metrolinx, told insauga.com in an email.
Bissonauth says that Metrolinx currently has 77,000 parking spots across the region and only 8 per cent are paid reserved spots.
The transit agency plans to add 24,000 additional parking spaces by 2031.
At this point, most commuters drive to the stations–even if they live close by. According to Metrolinx, 62 per cent of customers that drive to the stations drive alone and almost 1 in 5 customers that live within 1km of a station, drive.
For that reason, Metrolinx is encouraging commuters to consider some alternatives.
“We encourage our customers to get to the station in ways other than driving alone – walk, cycle, carpool, local public transportation,” Bissonauth said.
“Customers already have a difficult time finding parking spots at many of our stations.”
Those who need a car to get to their GO station should note that Metrolinx is piloting a variety of options, such as partnerships with Uber and Lyft, to get customers to stations.
“We are also exploring new ways to use reserved parking spots,” Bissonauth says.
“It is our priority to ensure transit costs remain affordable for our customers. Our study and research continues to find the most effective strategies.”