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Why is GO Transit parking so important?

By shost at 9:23 pm on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

(Burlington GO new parking lot, opened 2008, 600 spaces, $20 million dollars. Image from the Builder, http://www.kenaidan.com/)

The answer is very simple. Today’s culture is based on urban sprawl,  and the drivable community, which is the very reason GO transit exists today. Most of the population around the GTA own one sometimes two vehicles on a per family basis. To convince riders to get on GO transit, you have to provide a place to park their vehicle.  But where? In a GO transit parking lot, to park and ride the next train. GO Transit’s policy at most stations is your ticket gives you a free parking space for the duration of your working day.

In the future, if Places to Grow (Ontario) takes hold,  your cities downtown will be a vibrant, livable, walkable community, within walking distance to GO stations. This also implies that it is likely people will give up their cars by 2020 and that there may not be as great a need for parking lots.

However, to bridge the gap between 2009 and 2020 a parking lot is a neccesary intermediary between the car culture of today, and the walkable community of tomorrow. Bridging this gap is key to promote a change to a more sustainable community for 2020 and beyond.

Therefore, today, GO can only continue their success through supplying enough parking to meet ridership demand. 

While the future may hold different economics for GO ridership success, the $500 million annoucned by our Governments today is a welcome step towards unclogging of our highways and viable alternative transporatation methods in Ontario. Bravo.

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Comment by Tom West

February 19, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

What about the fact that many GO Trains in peak periods are full? Where will the extra passengers these parking spaces would attract physically go?

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