Link parking rates more closely to demand: report
Parking costs are on the rise in most major North American cities as officials grapple with reduced revenue and the political challenges in raising taxes.
Rates across Canada are generally higher with Calgary in the priciest spot at $456 a month, according to a recent survey by Colliers International.
Of the 12 major Canadian cities surveyed, Montreal was deemed the second-most expensive city to park in with a cost of $330 a month, on average – a 12% year-over-year increase. Toronto ($316), Edmonton ($295) and Vancouver ($277) round out the top five most costly Canadian cities.
There's a stack of of variables that go into parking demand, including the price of gasoline and the availability of mass transit. But generally the biggest factor is downtown office vacancy rates. The more office workers looking for space, the greater the demand for parking.
That's why the City of Ottawa is considering shifting its parking rates based on how often spaces are used.
Such a pricing program would nudge parking meter prices up or down throughout the year, based on usage surveys. If there’s a demand that exceeds capacity, the parking rates might increase to free up spaces. Rates would drop if the supply is more than the demand at a specific time.
That's a significant departure from the city’s usual policy of managing parking demand by keeping the prices of street spaces the same and simply varying the amount of time drivers are allowed to pay for.
Are you in favour of dynamic pricing when it comes to parking? Have you seen any such changes where you live?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money