I’m torn on this issue. On the one hand, I think it’s ridiculous for people to get upset about paying for parking. Seriously, that’s the number one way we’re going to get unnecessary vehicles off the roads. On the other hand, the only way we’re going to get more people onto public transit is by making it more accessible.
In the Greater Toronto Area, we have to account for the huge number of people commuting long distances. A good part of that distance is not reasonably accessible by public transit. But if it can be made reasonable to drive part of the way and then take transit, we get a lot closer to the goal.
Another transit issue exists in Saskatoon, and probably in a number of other areas. The concept of public transit has been secondary for so long that it’s always an afterthought. The only way to get people onto public transit is to make it an obvious option. Unfortunately, this also means running buses almost empty for a long time and running a significant deficit for a long time until people start seeing that buses are regularly available and will get them where they want to go, when they want to be there. And affordably; if the bus is as expensive as and less convenient than driving, why would I take the bus?
Update Aug 28: It’s a done deal. Stupid.