Billy Bishop Airport encourages travellers to bike, walk, shuttle or take transit to the airport and has put measures in place to encourage this shift.
The growth of the airport, along with condominium development and the surrounding venues and attractions such as the Rogers Centre, have meant increases in the number of cars in the Bathurst Quay area. The City of Toronto began work in 2015 on a Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan to study improvements that can be made to ensure that this mixed-use community continues to thrive.
For its part, Billy Bishop Airport encourages travellers to bike, walk, shuttle or take transit to the airport and has put measures in place to encourage this shift. An average of 40 per cent of travellers walk, bike or take transit to/from the airport. This represents the highest percentage of non-single-vehicle usage for any airport in North America and is a significant component of our traffic management strategy.
One of the largest infrastructure investments made to date by PortsToronto is the pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport that runs beneath the lakebed across the Western Channel of Lake Ontario and provides efficient and convenient access to travellers. The tunnel was built on a P3 model, which ensured the delivery of high-quality infrastructure at no cost to the taxpayer.
Prior to the tunnel’s opening in July 2015, passengers arrived at and departed from the airport by ferry in large groups every 15 minutes, causing surges in traffic demand at the mainland terminal and along Eireann Quay, the entrance road to the airport. Now, with more than 90 per cent of passengers choosing to take the convenient, six-minute walk through the tunnel, the study completed by Dillon confirmed a notable ease in traffic and passenger flow. Compared with findings from the last study completed in April 2015, a more even distribution of shuttle ridership was noted, virtually eliminating overcrowded or empty departing shuttle-runs, and more frequent and gradual turnover of taxis.
Over the past four years, in an effort to continually reduce vehicle traffic associated with the airport, PortsToronto has incorporated bike racks on both the island and mainland side of the airport’s property. With four covered racks on the island, cyclists can leave their bikes for the duration of their trip knowing that they are secure and safe from the elements. In addition, the airport Bike Share station at the Bathurst Street/Eireann Quay intersection is one of the top ten busiest stations in the city’s network. Since July 2016, it has generated approximately 90 rides per day, with 49 per cent of these rides starting at the station and 51 per cent ending at the station. The City of Toronto is currently considering plans to expand the 19-bicycle docking station due to its popularity.