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Increasing cycling at GO stations

Where

Maple and Rutherford GO stations, Vaughan

Mode of Transport

Cycling

Type of intervention

Outreach, Commuter education

The problem

For anyone who is familiar with GO Transit’s rail network in the GTHA, they will know just how popular station parking can be. 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.

The opportunity

Only 1% of current Maple and Rutherford customers cycle to the stations. This number will need to at least double to meet 2031 targets. The good news is that considerable numbers of customers at both stations live within 5 km of the station. Distances of 5 km or less are ideal for cycling, as they can be cycled within 15 minutes.

 

If current and future customers, especially those who live within 5 km, could cycle to these stations, that would benefit both current and future parking demand. These customers would also experience personal benefits, including health & wellness and less time spent hunting for a parking spot. 

How pointA helped

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

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

  • Encouraged customers to pledge to cycle to the GO station during the summer.

  • Provided physical and digital resources which customers could request in return for a pledge. These included bicycle lights, bells and maps.

  • Distributed ongoing newsletters to all participants with tips to help them overcome barriers to cycling that they had identified.

  • Provided route information and individual support to those who needed it.

Results

This project was successful in increasing the level of cycling to Maple and Rutherford GO stations.

15%

of participants cycled to GO for the first time

21%

now cycle more frequently to GO

9%

now cycle a better route to GO

11%

started cycling to GO

 

2%

started cycling more frequently

A report for Metrolinx, the project funder and stations owner, summarized the results and recommended further steps that could be taken to grow cycling further.