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End of the Line for Free Parking

End of the Line for Free Parking

The free ride is over. Last night, the TTC voted to end complimentary parking for Metropass users, at the TTC's 16 commuter lots across the city.

Problems with the existing parking arrangement do exist. The popularity of the Metropass over tickets and tokens has led riders to take advantage of the free parking incentive. Surprisingly, Metropass holders occupy a whopping 80% of the available 14,000 spaces meant for commuters - yet these riders only account for one percent of all TTC's annual ridership. Commuter parking lots simply don't have enough space to accommodate the sheer number of people who choose to park their car and hop on the Red Rocket.

"We want people out of their cars and using public transit," noted TTC Chair Adam Giambrone. But will charging commuters for parking help achieve this goal? With the change, the TTC believes that although some commuters will be behind the wheel, twice as many people will benefit from the revenue generated, which will increase investment in buses across the city by $3-million per year.

Currently there are two options for monetizing parking that are up for debate. The first option is the Metropass-Plus, which would give riders access to parking at an additional cost. The second option is a cash-only system where parking your car would cost $2 - $6 per day (a bargain in comparison to parking in the downtown core).

I'll be looking forward to seeing the extra money put towards transit improvements. We need better feeder routes, better bus service around commuter hub stations, increased subway service in heavy commuter areas, and more frequent bus service.

With car-owners losing the battle at the pumps, the goal for the TTC should be to provide alternatives for commuters that negate the need for cars.

How do you feel about these changes and will this affect your morning commute to work?

Photo by News46.


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