Kingston’s Park and Rides
While heading out Montreal en route to cottage country this past weekend, we passed by the new, massive park and ride station, conveniently situated next to the 401. Presently, the Montreal Street/401 park and ride consists of few winding lanes, signs to direct the flow of traffic and some unfinished parking areas, all of which is still under construction. It doesn’t look like much yet, however this station will eventually be used by commuters who want to drop off their vehicles and take public transportation into the city. The ultimate aim of the park and ride is to decrease traffic congestion, reduce emissions, increase Kingston Transit ridership, and reduce the number of commuters requiring parking in high demand areas. With these lofty goals in mind, this week’s poll question asks:
The Montreal Street park and ride will:
- not improve our transit woes. (62%, 39 Votes)
- decrease traffic congestion. (16%, 10 Votes)
- improve parking availability. (11%, 7 Votes)
- help congestion and parking. (11%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 63
During the lead up to our last federal election, a few of the candidates remarked that Kingstonians are overly reliant on automobiles, more so than other cities of the same size. This might not be breaking news to a lot of local residents, especially when you review council’s draft list of priority capital infrastructure projects, which is riddled with lane and road expansions as well as more downtown parking. Park and ride stations have been quite successful in other Canadian cities, but are they a good fit for the Limestone City? Can a single park and ride station clear up our congested streets and parking lots? How many of these hubs are needed to solve Kingston’s transportation woes? Please drop off a comment or two and let us know what you think about the park and ride program. Will you use it?
5 thoughts on “Kingston’s Park and Rides”
I think the park and ride could help if the buses are coming and going frequently and reasonably on time. No one wants to stand out in the middle of nowhere in cold and dark waiting for a bus that is running behind. Been there, done that. I plan to use it this summer to cut down on my driving and gas consumption. KT will have to be able to get me to work on time consistently though, or I'll quit. I have a job that requires me to be on a customer service desk and lateness is not an option. I hope its all ready to go very soon.
I don;t think p&r on the outskirts of city is going to help reduce congestion. Parking in and around downtown is available for 70-90 $ /month. Why would some pay 68.25$ to/month to take transit when they use the money for monthly parking in downtown for that matter anywhere else. This is not going to work unless parking costs more than 100$/month. A better location would have been kingston centre. There are lots of parking space available, I assume it is not city property so cannot be used/advertised as such, but if a better connection is provided then in town people may be motivated to use it. There are no bus routes which goes from Kingston centre to University where parking space is not readily available or expensive. But Kingston transit has no bus which goes directly from kingston centre to university.One needs to change two buses via downtown. Why ever bus has to go through downtown?., For example Route no 12 can be easily diverted to go though university main campus. It will be small detour. anyway no 12 covers its run from downtown-kingston centre via brock street in 10 minutes against the allocated 15 minutes. The time saved is not fuel saved since the buses idle when they reach the next transfer point expecially no 12.
I park downtown for 45 a month, a sweetheart deal through my employer. However the nuisance of driving my car downtown through summer construction, tour buses etc, combined with the cost of fuel and maintenance might make it worthwhile for me to park and ride. I would not buy a monthly pass. I use the reloaded mypass so don't pay for more rides than I actually take. I think, as Zomby says, the routes and scheduling are bigger issues. Kingston Transit has a tremendous amount of work to do to improve that. Incidentally, I would rather see money spent on improving transit than on building another bridge. Building more roads does not encourage people to drive less. Reminds me of a great quote I saw retweeted "fighting traffic by building more lanes is like fighting obesity by buying bigger pants". Just as making it easier to drive will result in more driving, making it easier to take the bus should result in more riders. I'm always hearing that there aren't enough riders to justify improvements; i say lets make the improvements and see.
I ride my bike past this park and ride all the time and there is one just like it mere minutes up the road. It gets used but is rarely full. Makes me wonder why they're building this new one…
I would like to add regarding the "express route no 19" which runs from park and ride to downtown and university, hospital. Since being started in 2009, I have rarely seen more than 1-2 person using that bus. Worse thing is this route untill now goes around the university in opposite direction than those other routes (2 and 6) going downtown. Several times during school days I and several others have been denied boarding route 2 because bus is full. even worse is those extra buses running between college and downtown don;t run during peak evening hours of 4.30 -6.30 pm when I was denied boarding. What's the point in running no 19 empty in opposite direction (Changing from July) around the University to downtown when there are people are not able to board bus. It took KT 2 years to realize and correct this. There are time when 3 buses all at the same time (no 2, no 18 and extra bus) go from downtown to college, each of them stopping when one stops to pick or drop commuters. Think about the fuel wastage. Why can't extra buses be given a schedule rather than running them at the will of drivers? why no 18 touted as quick in and quick out of town runs on a 1 hour loop? why it takes 1 hour to go around the town? why not run no 18 as an express service? There is no express service between cat centre and downtown. why not run no 4 as an express service? Anyway it runs always late on its scheduled time with same stops as that no1 which is rarely late.
On a positive note, changes to no 7 from July is welcome and much needed.