That's been my experience attending U of C many years ago, it was very popular for students to use Brentwood for parking and walk over and save money for on-campus parking or ride the LRT just one-stop. Enforcement was non-existent at the time. I am sure there are similar issues at other stations in the system.I also wonder how many of the cars at the park and ride lot are actually university students who are parking and walking to campus. With their u-pass, they would technically be allowed to park there, even if they don't actually ride the train.
This kind of thing at Brentwood is only a small symptom on a bigger, more systematic problem with the park-and-ride policies. At the high-level park-and-ride policy elevates Transit's attention of a single, inefficient tool (free and reserved parking capacity) above others that are far more transit-aligned (transit-oriented development, feeder bus network, sidewalk capacity, local pathway connectivity).
I'd like to see the park-and-ride policy be substantially reformed, essentially get Transit out of the parking business and back into the transit business:
- Remove the current policy's "target" of 15% (I think) of peak-trips by park-and-ride users. Totally perverse as it triggers the "need" for huge new parking lots at every station that never goes away. We actually should want a "maximum" park-and-ride trips, and a target of 100% of peak-trips made by walking, cycling and feeder routes.
- Removal all parking minimums for any development within station areas. Removal parking replacement policies where any development of a park-and-ride site has to replace the stalls 1-to-1, regardless on if they are needed or not. Totally stunts TOD economics and makes zero sense.
- Full cost recovery on all parking stalls by the drivers that use that specific station. If a station can't generate enough daily park-and-ride users to pay for it's own maintenance of that parking infrastructure, parking lots should be sold and redeveloped to TOD. No cross-subsidization - let each park-and-ride live and die on it's own economics.
- If there's a private parking lot at a station, remove the public parking lot and redevelop it. Private parking can function for the parking need and will charge market rates to manage it.
- Prioritize a pathway/cycletrack/sidewalk network of the highest quality to link every station to the surrounding community at a far greater quality/priority. Like we do for Park-and-Ride users today, but just for all other modes of travel that are far more transit-aligned.