Toronto Pearson tackles illegal parking

September 4th, 2018  |  Canadian Business

Toronto Pearson Airport is targeting drivers who are illegally parking on roads leading up to the Airport-but they say they aren’t “fining” drivers. Instead, they hope to encourage drivers to wait in the free designated “cell phone parking lots” provided by the airport.

If you are tempted to park outside of these zones while you wait to pick up a passenger, you could face a $75 “mobile payment notice” in the mail, courtesy of two cars equipped with cameras who are now lurking on the roads.

"We are choosing to call it a mobile payment notice, as opposed to a fine or ticket because …a lot of people would associate the word ticket with something that is issued by a municipality. This is a private payment," said Ryan White, on behalf of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson.

Part of the reason the airport has introduced these measures is to service the passenger growth they have already seen over the last year, closing out with 47.1 million travellers last year and anticipating around 50 million passengers through its door by the end of 2018.

"So, while obviously airport growth means more passengers, it also means more cars and more people dropping off and picking up passengers. In recent years, the issue of illegal roadside parking has been something that has been increasing with our growth,” White continued.

Be safe—use our free, convenient cell phone lots. Starting on Sept. 5, we will begin issuing mobile payment notices to cars waiting for arriving passengers on the busy roadsides around the terminals. https://t.co/oy3WRjaPKI pic.twitter.com/1VK18CRLmP

— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) September 1, 2018

It’s not uncommon to see vehicles littering the side of the roads on the lead up to the airport, awaiting a call from a loved one to say they have landed. While drivers will still be allowed to park at the curb once a passenger is ready to be picked up, its those parked on the lead up that will be at risk of mobile payment notices.

The GTAA website has now listed the two “free, safe and convenient cell phone parking lots” on its website, both of which are just a five minute drive from the terminals, stating “there’s no need to circle the terminal if you're waiting for someone to arrive."

Both lots will be clearly signposted, so that driver’s can easily find them on Network Road. The short term parking lots have room for 266 vehicles. Third party service provider Indigo Park will be on hand to ensure drivers don’t park longer than necessary, and remain in their cars while on site. New signage is going up at the airport to direct drivers where to go. The two cell phone lots are on Network Road. They can accommodate a total of 266 vehicles. Drivers must remain in their cars while they wait. The spaces are designated for short term parking only.

"For Toronto Pearson the mobile notice program is really a safety program at its core,” said White."I see this as something that will greatly improve the flow of cars in and out of the airport."