QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement after Metrolinx announced it was considering an expansion of paid parking at GO stations:

“The province must work with municipalities to support better local transit options to GO stations before charging for parking at GO lots.

Many people are forced to drive to GO stations because they do not have accessible local transit options.

Ontario must develop a fully integrated transit system that provides accessible affordable local transit so that people do not need to drive to GO stations.

The ultimate goal should be getting more people out of their cars and onto public transit because it is good for our air and it is necessary to unlock gridlock.

Before making any changes, Metrolinx should conduct a ridership study to ensure that parking decisions do not reduce ridership.

Unlimited free parking at GO stations is not sustainable in the long term, but we must be sympathetic to the affordability concerns of commuters and help them reach GO stations quickly and affordably by foot, bike, carpool or local transit.

It was wrong for the government to cut transit funding by 50% compared to the previous government, leaving municipalities with fewer resources to ramp up local services.