When it comes to catching a flight, few passengers think to load their bags onto a bicycle and start peddling. But at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, that seems to be a trend. Some 41 percent of travelers walk flight out or arriving will walk, bike, use public transit or take the complimentary airport shuttle, representing one of the highest overall percentages of non-automobile use at any airport in North America.
A new survey shows a 52 per cent increase in non-automobile usage at the airport over the last five years, compared with the 27 per cent of non-automobile usage recorded at the airport in 2013.
Many of the airport’s 2.8 million passengers choose Billy Bishop Airport for its convenient, walkable location to and from downtown Toronto, as well as for its interconnectivity to regional transit. In fact, the report conducted by Canadian company Dillion Consulting indicates 29 per cent of passengers depart Billy Bishop Airport via the complimentary airport shuttle to access Toronto’s Union Station, which highlights the important role the airport plays in not only connecting people to the heart of downtown Toronto but in providing convenient access to the region’s broader transportation network.
The survey indicates that only 2 percent of passengers drive and park at the airport.
The Billy Bishop Airport pedestrian tunnel continues to have a positive impact on dispersing passenger and vehicle traffic flow at the airport. The tunnel, which connects passengers to the airport from the mainland pavilion, not only provides convenient and efficient access to the airport but plays a vital role in significantly reducing surges in traffic demand at the mainland terminal and along Eireann Quay that were evident prior to the tunnel opening in 2015.
“By investing in major city-building infrastructure such as the award-winning pedestrian tunnel, and fostering an ideal environment for ‘green’ airport access with conveniently-located bike stations, complimentary shuttle service to and from Union Station and collaborating with the City of Toronto to further improve access to Eireann Quay, PortsToronto continues to implement innovative measures to both reduce emissions and ease vehicle traffic around the airport,” said Gene Cabral, Executive Vice President, Billy Bishop Airport. “We are proud to see so many of our passengers opting to walk, bike and use other environmentally-friendly modes of transportation to and from Billy Bishop Airport.”
The study ran in June 2018 during airport peak hours and focused on conditions related to traffic volumes, modal splits and taxi occupancy levels for travel to and from the airport. Further, the data gathered in this report will assist PortsToronto in the measurement of future conditions and continuous improvement related to traffic volumes.
Currently, a new reconfigured approach to passenger and vehicle traffic operations is in place as part of a pilot project that began in December 2018.
Billy Bishop Airport operates connection air services to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with network opportunities to reach more than 80 international destinations.