Commuters may have to start paying for parking in GO Transit lots

Jan 14 2020, 10:29 am

Commuters could soon face a fee for parking in GO Transit lots, according to Metrolinx.

As first reported by The Globe and Mail, spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins says that right now, the company is merely studying its options for using paid, reserved parking for more of its lots’ free spaces.

No changes will be implemented right away, she says, as there are currently no approved plans.

“GO ridership is increasing. That’s good, very good,” Aikins writes. “But unfortunately GO parking is at capacity at a quarter of our stations.”

She finishes her series of tweets by sharing how building more parking is not possible at many stations, nor is it economical or environmentally friendly.

Aikins’ tweets have quickly garnered many responses, including quite a few that challenge the announcement.

“That’s not the way to encourage public transit,” one person responded. “I know money needs to be made but this may just end up backfiring and putting more cars on the roads.”

“We’ve run out of parking spaces at 25% of our stations which doesn’t encourage people to take transit,” Aikins replied, before re-stating that right now, the company is studying. She says Metrolinx’s goal is to “keep transit affordable.”

One option, someone suggested on Twitter, is the concept of reserving a parking space in advance while charging extra for solid, full-time reservations. Aikins said that the company is “looking at all options just like that.”

Another option being considered includes the freeing up of unused reserved spots. If someone hasn’t parked in their reserved place by a certain time, for example, that space would then be opened up for others to use.

When Aikins explained this idea, there was backlash about how it would mean paying a premium for access to parking spaces for very limited amounts of time each day.

“Nothing is finalized. We’re studying options,” Aikins replied.