Changes coming in 2020 to options for getting to the Sudbury airport

The Sudbury airport is considering instituting a formal shuttle service with a defined route for ground transportation starting in 2020.

Sudbury airport official wants passengers to have great experience in the air and getting to and from airport

Sudbury airport looks at establishing a formal shuttle service with a defined route to transport passengers starting in 2020. (Megan Thomas)

Next year, there may be changes coming to how you can get to and from the Sudbury airport.

According to Jean Mathieu Chenier, the airport is looking at implementing a formal shuttle service that has a defined route.

Chenier is the Director of Marketing, Excellence and Innovation with the Sudbury airport. 

"Typically when you think of a shuttle, you're going from Point A to B to C to D and back to A in a continuous loop," said Chenier.

Since 2013, one company had the contract to transport passengers from the airport but that came to an end in the summer of 2018. 

Chenier says that airport ground transportation now consists mainly of taxis and he adds that it's working well. 

"There are no restrictions on taxi companies that can serve the airport as long as they're in compliance with the city's Vehicle for Hire bylaw," said Chenier."

The bylaw sets meter rates, standards around the condition of vehicles, and a code of conduct, for example. 

With no restrictions on cab companies that can pick up passengers at the airport, Chenier says that he's seeing more taxis in line, which benefits passengers because nobody gets stranded.

Chenier says one challenge faced by airports the size of Sudbury's is the number of people deplaning who need a taxi. 

"Do two people getting off the plane need a taxi or do 40 people getting off the plane need a taxi?" he asked.

"You never really know," said Chenier. "If you go to Pearson, for example, there are hundreds of taxis just waiting to line up." 

Chenier says he's spoken to officials at airports that are roughly the same size as Sudbury's to help determine how to best provide ground transportation services. He found that there's no single way of doing it.

"As an airport, our job is to transfer people from one mode of transportation to another -- from ground transportation to air and vice versa," says Chenier.

"What we want to ensure is that passengers have a great experience from the time they leave their front door to the time they get back home," he added. 

With files from Casey Stranges


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