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We can’t afford to have free parking at GO stations

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The Big Number: 80,000, the number of parking spaces GO Transit could need to add to keep up with projected ridership growth through 2031.

I could almost hear the profanity from GO train commuters last week after word got out that regional transit agency Metrolinx is studying the notion of charging for more parking spots at stations.

I get why the move is unpopular with a lot of people. I understand and acknowledge your f-bombs over the notion of paying for parking. But, alas, my sympathy is limited because, well, I can't come up with a reasonable alternative.

GTA commuter parking is a math problem. And with the status quo strategy of mostly free parking, the numbers make no sense.

Metrolinx laid it all out in its 2016 GO rail station access plan. By 2031, Metrolinx would like to double GO train ridership, from about 100,000 weekday riders today to more than 200,000. This is widely accepted as a good goal. More people on transit means fewer people on highways. Love it.

But about 62 per cent........

© Peterborough Examiner