Victoria considers charging for Sunday parking to fund youth transit passes
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2018 3:25PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2018 6:30PM PST
Victoria city council will explore the idea of instituting paid street parking on Sundays to fund free transit passes for kids.
The idea came up in the city's draft strategic plan, according to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
"Council voted unanimously to direct staff to report back on the revenue potential of charging for parking on Sundays," she told CTV Vancouver Island Tuesday.
She says the city is essentially subsidizing free street parking on Sundays, while parents are paying $45 a month – which works out to $540 a year – for their kids' transit passes.
A city-wide opt-in system would cost families about $11 per month, and Helps said council would find a way to fund that remaining balance.
"I do think that the city has a responsibility to make transit free for kids. Low-cost and low emissions, and kind of training a whole new generation of transit users," said Helps.
Helps stressed that as the strategic plan is still in the draft phase, the idea is just that – an idea.
But with no school bus system in Victoria, Helps says she expects the savings could be attractive to parents.
"We've got a very unaffordable city," she said. "If we can save parents $500 a year for kids' transit passes that's more money for food or ballet lessons."
She added that the city would continue to keep downtown parkades free on Sundays and holidays, and that the move could free up more spots for frustrated drivers.
"What we do know for certain is if we charge for on-street parking on Sundays, it will increase the availability of parking spaces for people going to shop downtown," she said.
City staff have so far only been directed to explore the revenue benefits of charging for street parking on Sundays.
The first draft of the city's strategic plan will be presented on Dec. 14 and council is seeking public feedback until the end of January.
More information is available on the city's website.