Increasing carpooling at GO stations

Where

Maple and Rutherford GO stations, Vaughan

Mode of Transport

Carpool

Type of intervention

Outreaches, Commuter education

The problem

There is a huge demand for parking at stations in GO Transit’s rail network in the GTHA. Across the network, 85% of station parking lots are at or near capacity, which leads to increases in the time needed to find a parking spot and illegal parking.

Maple and Rutherford stations on the Barrie GO line in Vaughan are no different. With the introduction of Regional Express Rail and its two-way all-day service, ridership on the Barrie line is projected to more than double by 2031.

This projected increase in demand cannot be accommodated through further expansion of parking facilities at these stations.

Customers can often find it difficult to try alternatives to driving alone. In particular, commuters often report that they need help in finding someone to carpool with.

The opportunity

The number of customers who carpool to Maple and Rutherford stations is low. Only 3-5% of customers get to these stations by carpooling. However, carpooling represents a viable alternative mode for the 90% of passengers who live within a 5-minute drive of someone else catching the same train.

If current and future station customers were able to carpool to these stations more often, that would benefit parking demand both now and in the future. These customers would also experience personal benefits, including shared driving costs and avoiding looking for a parking spot through potential access to dedicated carpool parking spaces.

How pointA helped

Through the Smart Commute program and on behalf of Metrolinx, pointA delivered a project to increase carpooling at both stations through customer education and outreach. pointA:

  • Hosted eight outreach events at Maple and Rutherford GO stations and spoke directly with commuters about their carpooling options.

  • Encouraged customers to pledge to carpool to the GO station over the winter.

  • Provided digital resources and information on how to find a carpool partner using the carpool-matching platform, the Smart Commute Tool, and how to register for carpool parking at the GO stations.

  • Distributed ongoing newsletters to all participants with carpooling advice and information to help them overcome barriers to cycling that had been identified.

  • Provided individual support to those who needed it.

Results

This project was successful in increasing the level of carpooling to Maple and Rutherford GO stations:

6%

increase in carpooling to GO as their primary mode

6%

increase in carpooling to GO as their secondary mode

11%

of participants started carpooling to GO

A report for Metrolinx summarized the results and recommended further steps that could be taken to further grow carpooling to GO stations.