Park and pay? Some councillors want daily parking fee at all park and ride lots
CALGARY -- As the City of Calgary deals with service cuts and a difficult budget, some councillors think reintroducing the parking fee for all transit lots may help generate more revenue.
Calgary currently has more than 12,000 free parking spaces at park and ride lots across the city. It also has hundreds of reserved parking spaces that cost a monthly fee. But some on council believe every space should cost money.
“Nobody wants to pay for something when it’s currently free,” said Coun. Jyoti Gondek, who helped put forth the motion containing the parking fee idea.
“But we’re in a very different time. We’re in a situation where not only do we need to be exploring cuts, we need to look at revenue streams. So, everything is open to be explored,” she said.
The idea came in a long list of amendments to a motion put forth by Gondek and Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart during budget deliberations.
“Providing parking lots around LRT is probably the most wasteful land decision we’ve made in the city,” added Coun. Druh Farrell.
Calgary tried out a daily fee for all transit parking back in 2009, and it generated millions of dollars annually, but council voted to end the blanket cost in 2011.
Not everyone is on board with the idea.
“I’m not in favour of nickel-and-diming Calgarians. It seems misguided to bring in more and more fees,” said Coun. Jeromy Farkas.
“If you make the fees high enough, people won’t be taking transit in the first place.”
Gondek said she wants the city’s administration to explore the paid parking idea and come back to council with a plan for how much to charge users, while determining how much revenue would be generated