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Metrolinx considers charging for parking at GO lots

GO Transit riders may have to pay for parking in the future as the provincial transit agency, Metrolinx, considers a new revenue stream.

Parking at most GO lots is free on a first-come, first-serve basis, but that could change as Metrolinx is considering charging for spots to raise money to fund transit expansion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Some GO customers already pay $80 a month to rent a spot at 11 stations, which represents just 6 per cent of the 65,000 parking spots available.

“When we look at all the different revenue tools that are used around the world, parking is one of the revenue tools you see in different jurisdictions. It’s something we are looking at…” admitted Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO, Metrolinx.

The idea was reportedly floated at a Metrolinx meeting on Wednesday. There’s no word on how much the agency could charge or exactly how much money the initiative — if adopted — would raise.

The parking fee was one of the recommendations in economist Don Drummond’s report to the province.

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins outlined the staggering costs of future projects at GO.

“Our next 15 to 25 years of projects are going to cost $34 billion and we have to figure out were we are going to get the money for that,” she said.

[View the story “Your reaction: GO parking” on Storify]