Mobility options in time of strike - Toronto example
How to get around if the TTC goes on strike
Posted: April 18, 2008, 8:00 PM by Ronald Norwich
If TTC union workers do decide to stay in bed by 4 a.m. on Monday, you might want to do the same. But if you can't take the time off and really need to go somewhere, the Post’s Matthew Liebenberg has some suggestions to help you get prepared for the battle ahead.
If your destination is close enough, just walk. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes and leave earlier. For some motivation on the benefits of walking and hints about good posture, check out the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Web site.
The roads will be packed, so everyone will benefit from carpooling. If you can't organize your own car pool with co-workers or friends, try to find a carpool online:
Staff and students that need to get to York University can look for a shared ride at the York University Carpool Zone.
Keep in mind that these online carpool sites are not really aimed at one-time or occasional users, so don't delay in trying to find a match.
Carpoolers using Highways 403 and 404 will be able to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. Only passenger vehicles with two or more occupants can use HOV lanes. They are the inside (leftmost) lane and clearly marked by signs and diamond symbol pavement markings. Don't get tempted to use the HOV lane – police warn they will be out in force to ensure lane rules are followed.
To make it easier to connect with your carpool partners, the Ministry of Transportation provides free carpool parking near highway interchanges across the GTA. The full list is here (PDF)
As part of the City of Toronto contingency plans, bus lanes on Eglinton Ave., Bay St., Fleet St., King St. and Pape Ave. will become car pool lanes during the strike. Across the city free parking will also be available in the parking lots of 14 community centres and arenas, with preference given to multi-occupant vehicles. See here for the location of the 14 designated parking lots.
If you want to know more about road conditions before you leave home:
Ministry of Transportation road info
City of Toronto road info
With more people looking for parking, you want to be prepared. Check out the location of municipal parking facilities.
The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) operates 150 parking facilities, including 19 parking garages, that provide 20,000 off-street spaces. There are also 17,500 pay-and-display on-street parking spaces.
In addition, the TPA operates 12,500 spaces on behalf of the TTC at their park and ride facilities. According to TPA president Gwyn Thomas these facilities will be available for free parking during the duration of the strike.
To find information about the location of private parking lots:
Emergency traffic routes
For the duration of the transit strike, no parking will be allowed between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday to Friday on the following emergency routes in the city:
Avenue Rd./University Ave. between Lawrence Ave. and Front St.
Bloor St./Danforth Ave. between Jane St. and Victoria Park Ave.
Yonge St. between Front St. and Steeles Ave.
Eglinton Ave. between Allen Rd. and Brentcliffe Rd.
Bayview Ave. from Eglinton Ave. to Lawrence Ave.
Finch Ave. from Highway 400 to Jane St.
McCowan Rd. from Eglinton Ave. to Ellesmere Rd.
Lawrence Ave. from Markham Rd. to Brimley Rd.
The Queensway from Roncesvalles Ave. to Parkside Dr.
Use a bike
If you're planning to buy a bike or get your bike repaired, you may want to get to a bike shop soon. Cycling stores have been very busy selling bikes and accessories and doing tune-ups. You can find a bike dealer here.
You can also rent a bike for $10 a day from the Community Bicycle Network and get discount if you rent for longer, or even buy a recycled bike from them.
To assist you in planning a route along the various bicycle lanes and paths, use this map.
There will probably be many cyclists around during the strike that are not frequent users and not so skillful on their bikes and in sharing the road. To keep safe while you're cycling, look here and here.
Use your motorcycle
Maybe it's time to dust of your motorcycle after its winter hibernation. In gridlock you may not get there much faster, but at least you will use less fuel. If you have a valid motorcycle license but no bike, consider renting one.
Use a taxi
Be prepared to pay more for your trip, because your ride is probably going to take longer on the busier roads. To get an estimate of the taxi fare to your destination, look here.
You're also going to wait longer for your cab, as more people are going to make that call.
Able Atlantic Taxi 416-298-1111
Beck Taxi 416-751-5555
Co-op Cabs 416-504-2667
Crown Taxi 416-240-0000
Diamond Taxicab 416-366-6868
Royal Taxi 416-777-9222
A trip to the airport
GO Transit will still operate from York Mills and Yorkdale subway stations to Pearson's Terminal 1. For details about schedules and fares, see the GO Transit Web site.
Pacific Western’s Airport Express bus service from downtown Toronto to Pearson will continue to run every 20 minutes during peak periods and every 30 minutes during off-peak periods.
Aerofleet Services provides a 24 hour, 120 vehicle service to Pearson. See here for details.
A 24 hour car rental service is available at Pearson. For information about the five car rental agencies operating at the airport and other off-airport car rental agencies, visit the Pearson Web site.
Other transit operations
GO Transit will continue to operate regular services, but expects higher ridership and some delays at stations, especially Union Station. GO suggests that customers arrive earlier to get parking and buy tickets. To prevent lineups at ticket offices, one can buy multi-ride tickets in advance. The City of Mississauga will relax parking enforcement around GO stations for the duration of the strike. For updates on service and schedules, visit the GO website.
While the 14 contracted TTC routes in York Region will be out of service during the strike, York Region Transit (YRT) will continue to operate all other services according to normal schedules. In addition there will be extra buses on GO shuttle routes during morning and afternoon rush hour and all express services will be diverted to the nearest GO station. Existing YRT services to TTC locations will continue, but pick-up and drop-off of passengers will happen on-street. For more detail about service and schedules, visit the YRT website.