People are livid that parking may no longer be free at GO stations
Toronto-area commuters who regularly use the GO train may soon find themselves paying a little more to take public transportation to work each day.
Southern Ontario transit agency Metrolinx is currently considering a number of solutions to its parking program — mainly, charging for a larger number of their parking spots at GO train stations around the GTA, more than 90 per cent of which have historically been free.
I take the 6:29 am Go Train from Burlington every day. Never have an issue with parking. Would be interested to see if your study factors in the times in which these people can’t find spots and what trains they take in. Paying for a parking isn’t the solution.— Scott Green (@TheScottGreen) January 14, 2020
Metrolinx says that it is exploring "how to better utilize paid reserved parking" in response to the fact that customers often have difficulty finding parking in GO lots in the face of increasing ridership, and adding more parking "is not economical or good for the environment."
This could mean tens of thousands of currently free spaces will be gradually transitioned to paid.
Metrolinx estimates that parking lots are usually at capacity at a quarter of its stations.
"building more and more parking is not good for the taxpayer or the environment" .... Yes that's so much worse for the environment than forcing people's hands and getting them back on the road in single occupant vehicles. This is nothing but a cash grab by @Metrolinx— Ryan Jones (@RyanOfJones) January 14, 2020
Internal documents sourced by the Globe & Mail indicate that up to half of existing GO parking spots — which number around 77,000, according to Metrolinx — could become paid by September 2022, and that the changes could begin "within months."
The public is outraged at the news, with many saying on social media that they'll be better off fully driving to work.
Some are so angry that they're even planning to boycott Metrolinx altogether, regardless of what the cheaper (or more environmentally-friendly) option is.
Yet others find it "disgusting" that transitgoers expect parking to be free.
@GOtransit @Metrolinx If I have to pay for parking, I will stop taking the train. It's already way too expensive and it's taking a huge chunk of my paycheck every month. Please stop this nonsense and make transit more affordable. Otherwise, you just lost a customer.— DΞRΞK DOODLΞS 🇨🇿 (@Czech_Boy) January 14, 2020
Metrolinx says that it will work to encourage customers to use other ways to get to its stations, such as biking, local transit, ride-sharing/carpooling and walking.
Also, that the new parking plan is in its early phases and has yet to be approved. Details are not final and could still change as the team continues researching solutions.
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