Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Parking Lot Blues

Today, due to difficulty arranging a ride home from the train station, I decided to give the Orangeville GO bus a try. This route is a branch of the Georgetown corridor, and connects the community in Dufferin County with trains at Brampton or Bramalea station (depending on the time of day). Luckily, I live just inside the Brampton fare zone boundary, allowing me to use my monthly pass.

From a running time of 15 minutes, the bus took just over 20 to reach the edge of my neighbourhood, followed by a 15 minute walk to my door. It was a refreshing change from sitting in traffic, and I can happily consider it an option in fair weather and include it in my long-term plan of purchasing a folding bicycle and ditching the car for routine trips downtown.

However, there is another side to this story. Though the bus left the terminal immediately, I arrived at home at around the same time as I normally would. This means that the 15 minute walk represents a quarter hour I would have spent driving. Assuming that I can complete the drive up Highway 10 just as fast as the bus can, I am left with a disturbing conclusion:

It takes 15 minutes just to get out of the parking lot!

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At 1/09/2008 9:03 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now have a way to fit exercising into your routine without scratching some other activity ;-)

By the way, for days when you have less time available, look at bicycling to or from school. If a standard bike is impractical, consider a light but sturdy folding bike that fits into a carry bag - no worries about theft or getting vandalized either. You can find good folding bikes now for as little as $169...


At 1/09/2008 9:10 a.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

Unfortunately, as standard bikes are not allowed in Union Station during the rush hour, folding bikes are my only option.

However, I didn't know you could get one for under $300.

I truly appreciate the tip!

At 1/10/2008 9:25 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's about right in a lot of places. In Ajax people get off the train and they Run! their is 2 exits to Westney, One southbound which is a Right out only and then the Lights where you can turn right - go straight or Left, Many people are going Left meaning North-.

It is a nightmares. It was great when I took the Go bus and arrived just after the trains and traffic left when I had my car there.

Traffic Jams around GO stations never seem to come during the Regional Transportation plan presentations either.

Karem Allen

At 1/11/2008 4:05 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bramalea looks like an excellent place for a rail/bus integrated station like the TTC subway/bus loops.

At 1/11/2008 8:00 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

I recently sent a email to TTC chair Giambrone about folding bicycles on the TTC during peak hours. The question was referred to staff, but hopefully they will see the benefits and return a positive result.

On other forums I have been a defender of GO parking lots, but I must assure everyone that this is simply out of necessity. My long term vision calls for transit agencies to have buses running through every neighbourhood in the GTA to allow people to connect to higher order transit without driving at all. For now, GO lots are necessary evil.

As for Bramalea, it is an excellent example of an integrated bus and rail station. GO buses on the 407 West corridor arrive every few minutes during almost all hours of the day, and the midday train and rush hour trains allow riders to connect towards Union or towards Georgetown (though I wish there were more downtown trips).


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