Nearly 40% of Travellers Walk, Bike or Take Transit to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport New Research Study Finds

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Toronto (July 16, 2015) – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, owned and operated by PortsToronto, is making good on its commitment to reduce private vehicle use to and from the airport in an effort to decrease the associated traffic impacts on the surrounding community, according to a study conducted by Dillon Consulting on behalf of PortsToronto. The study observed that more than one-third (37 per cent) of travellers walk, bike or take public transit to access Billy Bishop Airport.
The updated study indicates that private vehicle drop-offs and pick-ups related to the airport have also dropped by more than 40 per cent since the last study was completed in 2012. In addition to the increase in the number of people walking, biking and taking transit to the airport, which grew from 27 per cent in 2012 to 37 per cent in 2015, the survey also confirmed a 10 per cent reduction in the number of passengers departing to the airport by taxi and a 47 per cent increase in those departing by the airport’s shuttle bus (17 per cent of travellers in 2012 vs. 25 per cent in 2015).   Of note, the 40 per cent decrease in private vehicle drop-offs and pick-ups related to the airport occurred despite the fact that overall passenger traffic at Billy Bishop Airport increased from 2.3 million to 2.4 million between 2012 and 2014.
The study also indicated that, on average, 10-12 per cent of all traffic in the surrounding area can be attributed to Billy Bishop Airport. Specifically, on Lake Shore Blvd. 2-4 percent of traffic can be attributed to the airport; on Bathurst Street north of Queen’s Quay 30-35 per cent of the traffic is airport related; in the area to the west, including Stadium Road, only 2 per cent of the traffic can be attributed to the airport; and on other routes such as Dan Leckie Way and Queen’s Quay to the east, airport traffic comprises approximately 15 per cent of total traffic.
“These survey results reflect the measures we have implemented over the past three years to achieve our goal of reducing the vehicle traffic associated with the airport, despite the fact that passenger numbers continue to increase,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO, PortsToronto. “Since 2012, we’ve redesigned our taxi and parking areas; made improvements to the airport’s shuttle bus service, including the June addition of a fourth shuttle bus; and added bike racks on both the island and mainland side of the airport’s property. These measures have had a positive impact on the number of individual cars accessing the airport and encouraged travellers to seek alternatives such as the shuttle or biking. We also anticipate that the opening of the pedestrian tunnel at the airport later this month will have additional positive effects on traffic management.” 
The study conducted by Dillon Consulting was undertaken in April 2015 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. This study will be provided to the City of Toronto and is consistent with Toronto City Council’s motion 3.a.ii.4 to implement traffic monitoring for Eireann Quay and reporting to the City.
The data gathered will also continue to provide background information by which to measure future conditions related to traffic volumes. The pedestrian tunnel at Billy Bishop Airport is set to open in late July and is expected to have an additional positive impact on traffic flow as it will eliminate the passenger waves that occur as a result of the ferry departing and arriving four times an hour.
To review a summary of the modal split survey, visit
About PortsToronto (
For more than 100 years PortsToronto, (formerly the Toronto Port Authority), has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $6.7 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
About Dillon Consulting (
Dillon Consulting is an employee-owned professional firm specializing in planning, engineering, environmental science and management that partners with clients to provide committed collaborative and inventive solutions to complex, multi-faceted problems.  Proudly Canadian since being founded in 1946 in London, Ontario, we work with clients that require transportation systems that move people in a way that uses our resources efficiently, minimizes the impact on our environment and is adaptable to change. We understand that good planning solutions require an understanding of both human nature and engineering and that it is these complex systems that are the backbone of our cities.
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