Train passengers sometimes face barriers that make accessing a station difficult. One barrier with modern train stations is that they still prioritize automobile access. Extensive parking lots improve access for car owners but support Canadians’ dependency on cars. Metrolinx is moving away from building large parking structures and wants to improve connections to local public transit. They are also piloting a program of driverless cars bringing passengers to and from stations.
Using and owning a car in Ontario is expensive. It is beneficial to plan stations around more active forms of transportation like walking or biking. In addition to being better for the environment, European trends indicate that passengers lead healthier lifestyles if they can walk or bike to the train station. In 2018, only 1% of GTA passengers biked, while 62% of passengers chose to drive to stations less than 5km away from their homes. Railway developers and city planners must consider how to further encourage this healthy and inexpensive transportation choice by having train cars for bikes and better bike lanes and bike parking.
Increasing the density of the surrounding area with homes and businesses makes trains more accessible to passengers on foot. However, to support a high quality of life, this density must be balanced with lots of green spaces.
How do passengers feel about these barriers? Click on the ticket!