06/20/2012 09:20 EDT | Updated 08/20/2012 05:12 EDT

TransLink Park and Ride changes coming

TransLink is considering changes at its Park and Ride locations that could discourage commuters from using the transit parking lots.

TransLink manages 19 lots, with thousands of parking stalls. But, while they’re popular with transit users, the cash-strapped transit authority is reconsidering the expense involved.

"There's certainly a value to park and rides. We understand it’s an important convenience. There's also a cost," TransLink spokesman Jason Martin said Wednesday.

Martin said each parking stall can cost up to $18,000 in original capital costs and a further $800 a year to maintain.

That's a big expense, especially for locations that are well served by bus routes. So TransLink is considering ways to get drivers to leave their cars at home and take a bus instead.

"Pricing is one effective way to do that," Martin said.

Other tactics could include reducing the number of parking spaces.

One Park and Ride user CBC News spoke to Wednesday said TransLink might want to encourage her to use a bus to get to the SkyTrain or Canada Line, but for her it’s not a realistic option.

"The bus only runs about every 30 minutes in my neighbourhood and it’s not always on schedule. So I mean you can go there, it's 10 minutes early so you've missed it."

Martin said TransLink has been studying Park and Rides for the past year and will consult with municipalities to get their input.

The proposed changes will be announced in the next few months.