Victoria drivers will be able to squeeze a little more time out of the city’s pandemic parking rates, at least on the street.
Parkade rates are set to return to pre-pandemic prices by September.
On Thursday, council delayed a decision to return to normal rates for on-street parking meters. Council decided to consult with the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) before moving forward on the rate change for on-street parking, intended to encourage turnover and revive city revenue.
In April, parking costs were lowered to alleviate financial impacts during the COVID-19 crisis, but with usage on the rise, staff recommended a return to normal rates and time limits for on-street metered parking and the Yates Street and Centennial Square parkades, where parking was reduced to $1 per hour with the first hour free and $85 as a monthly rate. Under reduced rates, on-street metered parking is $1 per hour without time limits and $2 per hour in 90-minute zones.
Council agreed to begin enforcing time limits and reinstate rates for the two parkades, bringing those rates back to $2 per hour for the second and third hour of parking and $3 per hour for the fourth hour and beyond. The Yates Street parkade’s monthly rate will return to $175 and Centennial Square parkade to $130.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps noted that with the city’s revenue down, “very difficult conversations” would need to be had.
“Parking fees and conference centre [revenue] are way down, that means we’ll have to lean more heavily on property taxes, and no ones like that either,” she said.
“There are benefits to keeping parking rates low, but the fact is, we’ve had requests from businesses … and everybody is going to need something from us in the next year or two means we need to do what we can to balance our own revenues.”
Reduced parking rates are still in effect for parkades on Broughton Street, View Street and Johnson Street.