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New Developments in Parking Lots

June 8th 2012 by Yves Desjardins-Siciliano

Each year, close to 3.8 million passengers in the Quebec – Windsor Corridor choose VIA Rail when travelling from one destination to another. Many people reach the station by car when dropping off or picking up a passenger, while others must park their vehicle there for the duration of their trip. VIA Rail stations are often found at strategic locations within the city, which facilitates access to various attractions, such as intermodal stations, restaurants, boutiques, markets, and entertainment venues.

A number of paying parking lots are already in place at VIA Rail stations, including those inHalifax,Quebec City, Ste‑Foy, Montreal, Dorval, Ottawa and Toronto. It goes without saying that VIA Rail parking lots are in high demand and, as such, they provide an opportunity to improve our operational efficiency. Few would dismiss the precarious state of our current economic climate, nor would anyone deny the importance of proper financial management for a Crown Corporation like VIA Rail. In an effort to adopt the best possible business practices, VIA Rail will set up toll booths in certain parking lots across the Quebec-Windsor Corridor over the next few months.

We are fully aware that any new cost may lead to inconveniences for our passengers and we understand their concern. However, we have implemented certain measures designed to benefit these passengers:

  1. Parking will be free at many stations across the network for those who wish to park their vehicle for less than 60 minutes. For example, no payment will be required when picking up or dropping off a passenger, or when using the parking lot for quick purchases.
  2. These measures will ensure that spaces are available for VIA’s travelers at the station, and that they can enjoy a safe and accessible parking lot (fully lit, cleared of snow and monitored by VIA personnel).
  3. The costs are reasonable and representative of local market rates.

Payment method will be “pay and display”, a method similar to those already in place in most cities. Users will be required to park their car, pay for the parking at the pay-and-display booth and display their ticket visibly on the dashboard.

One thing is certain: VIA remains committed to keeping its customers fully informed of all changes throughout the implementation phase. Signs will also be posted inside parking lots to inform users of these changes. In our ongoing effort to maintain transparency for our customers, we hope this information will help you better understand the reasons behind our decision. As always, we invite you to send in your comments.

About Yves Desjardins-Siciliano

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano
Yves Desjardins-Siciliano was appointed President and CEO of VIA Rail in May, 2014. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano was the Corporation's Chief Corporate & Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. He has over 30 years’ experience in legal, regulatory and government relations, business and corporate development, marketing communications and finance. Past President of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Division, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano was also Chief of Staff to the federal Minister of Labour and Minister of State for Transport from 1989 to 1991.
2 Comments Leave one →
  1. Though it usually bugs me when people respond to a general post with a specific case, this needs to be mentioned. I would be more than happy to pay to park at Oshawa station, but there is no room. If I wish to take a train from Oshawa Monday to Friday, the lot is full of commuters’ cars by about 0800 so there is nowhere to park. There is room to park at Guildwood, but service to and from Guildwood has been reduced. I have often gone to the extreme of parking at Guildwood, taking a GO train to Oshawa, sitting for an hour, and then boarding my VIA train in Oshawa. Only the most diehard rail traveller like myself would go to that extreme. The parking situation at Oshawa is no doubt having a negative impact on ridership. Most people will not go through such a hassle just to take the train: someone travelling from the eastern GTA to points between Oshawa and Ottawa may see the lack of parking at Oshawa as an excuse to drive the whole way. This needs to be fixed ASAP.

  2. Tom West permalink

    @Jason Shron: You could park at Whitby or any other GO station closer to Oshawa! Or you could take the bus…

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