Jul 12, 2008

Go wrongfully takes passengers from DRT

The Whitby GO station will be squeezing in room for a new multi-storey parking garage to help ease congestion, officials say.
I first made a post about this on May 5, 2007 and it's still a sad day when Go Transit takes passengers away from local transit. This is exactly what will happening when 900 spaces are added to the 2,458 existing parking spaces.

The weekday ridership has increased 7.2 per cent across the GO system. This should result in better transit rather than more parking space. One good thing about the increse riders is that a $10 million budget shortfall caused by rising fuel prices won't affect the cost of riding GO Transit.

The cost of this additional parking is $30 million dollars. I think the Ontario Government and tax payers would have got a bigger bang for their buck if it had been invested towards local transit.

Steve Munro ha an interesting post about Go parking on his web page.

New parking garage at station set to GO.


Nick J Boragina said...

Some people just dont want to take the local bus and would rather drive into downtown then take some Orion to the local station.

Frankly, I say we need more parking. The more people we get on to transit the better, saying that one transit is better then another transit is just silly IMHO. Every system should have good parking (YRT has parking/carpool lots even though it's a totally bus-based system, for example)

Andy said...

Should there not be a limit on the size of these parking lots? The one in Whitby is for over 3,000 vehicles. There are a number of people now that use local transit to arrive at the Go station. In Durham Region it only cost 65 cents one way to get to the Go station.

If they are trying to cut down on pollution all that lost when a few hundred cars try to exit the parking lot all at the same time.

The point I am trying make is that local transit suffers because of Go offering free parking.

Nick J Boragina said...

IMHO, and there is no study, but I'd be willing to bet good money that most of those who park there, or who will park in an expanded lot, are people who would rather drive to toronto then take local transit,

David Harrison said...

Nick, I don't disagree that those driving are choosing to do so over taking transit - but it's obviously not desirable to keep building larger and larger parking lots with more and more congestion on local streets. So the question has to be "how do we get these people onto transit". At $0.65 per ride, I can't see price being the barrier - so what is the barrier?

Craig said...

What is the barrier:

I've posted similar elsewhere too, so I apologize for repeating myself, but I wanted to state what the barrier is for me.

total outbound commute time from my home in Ajax to office in Toronto when driving to GO: About 1hr 5mins most days.

total outbound commute time from my home in Ajax to office in Toronto when bussing to GO: About 1hr 35 minutes most days.

So there is the reason I wont ride the bus. 30 minutes. multipy by 5 = 2½ hours.

For the bus near me, (26) its *scheduled* times to arrive at the GO station is a couple of minutes after the train has left, and so I'm left standing around 20 or 30 minutes waiting for the next train (particularly not nice in winter)

So, although the bus stop is close to my house, close enough that there's actually less walking involved in taking the bus because crossing acres of asphalt parking to get from my car to the GO station is further than my house to the bus stop - despite all this driving is still significantly faster when you consider the *total* home-work commute times.

If only the morning bus would synch up with morning trains, then I would likely use the service, because coming home in the evening it's great - the buses are lined waiting to take us home when the inbound trains arrive, and can certainly compete on time in the homeward bound direction.

As it is, I actually ride my bike to the station most days between late March - early November, and drive only when weather isnt so good, which is frequent in late Nov - early March. I find it to be faster or about the same as the car most times. And its essentially free, which appeals to me, because I'm a cheapskate.

This is just my own situation of course, but I wonder how many others have similar situations ? i.e it's not the price, the fare is way cheaper than even just the gas used while driving - it's the total commute time. when your commute is already about 1 hour, it's tough to choose an option that adds 20 or 30 minutes, vs maybe $2 or $3 of gas to drive the car (most in 905 already have a car anyways, so I'm not calculating total cost of owning a car)

If there's enough demand for GO transit to justify building parking lots/decks to accomodate 2000+ 2500+ cars at it's stations, then surely there's enough demand for a half decent shuttle bus service in the mornings ? or maybe not. I'm not a town planner, I'm just an interested commuter reading an interesting website.

I agree, its not good planning to keep expanding those lots infintely, there has to be a limit, but I dont know where the limit is at. It's already congested in and around those lots, and I fear building more just adds even more congestion, and more time, and more frustration to commutes.

(Sigh) But then I suspect the people that plan these things are the same people that can't find a hole in the ground to put the garbage, and instead truck it down the 401 to Michigan, and then pat themselves on the back for "solving" the problem.

Andy said...

Craig... it is difficult for local transit that has to use the same roadways as the autos and trucks to compete with the clock. In fact the car wins hands down. The best way that transit competes is frequency of service and lower cost to the customers.

craig said...

For me, the bus (at least in my area) loses on it's lack of co-ordination with morning GO trains. if it wasn't for that, I'd definately use it.

Here's an idea for GO: Only allow small sub-compacts in a large part of their lots (say half the spaces), and re-mark the parking bays appropriately. This way they can pack more cars in the same land area, encourage more fuel efficient cars, and reduce the need for more land for parking.

Of course, that's off topic, as this site is about promoting local transit. I should probably write to DRT and ask them to change the morning schedule of #26 bus to arrive at the station just before the trains arrive instead of just after they leave.

Nick J Boragina said...

People drive because its easier and more convienant. I have to disagree again with both of you - Transit is one seamless whole, and to be pro-some tranist but anti-other tranist is to be anti-transit. IMHO we should encourage parking at GO lots, and also encourage those drivers to take the bus instead. We have on story here, why not start asking people as they park why they dont take the local bus, total the answers, and the fix the problem