For commuters who use LRT park and rides in Edmonton there are some proposed changes expected to come into effect Sept. 1.

The city's transportation committee voted in favour of the changes Wednesday, and the recommendations will go before city council for final approval.

Some park-and-ride stalls that are now offered for free will be converted to paid stalls. The price of those paid stalls will be increased.

Some free stalls will have two- or four-hour time limits.

The city currently charges $42 a month to reserve a park-and-ride stall. 

The new changes are meant to deal with overcrowding at park-and-ride lots.

Edmonton's eight lots often fill up as early as 7 a.m. on weekdays, leaving many riders without a place to leave their vehicles.

The details of how many stalls will be converted, how much prices will go up and the number of stalls with time limits will be sorted out by city staff.

A report containing those details will come back to the transportation committee in June.

Councillors will decide

All of this still needs approval from council as a whole; however given approval from the committee, it is expected to be rubber-stamped.

Councillors also discussed ways to increase the overall number of park-and-ride stalls.

City staff have been directed to identify churches, malls and recreation centres with available parking that are close to existing park-and-ride lots.

The idea is the city could enter into an agreement with these facilities. There would be a charge to use their parking during weekdays, and the proceeds would be shared.

A report on that proposal will come back to the committee sometime during the summer.

Coun. Scott McKeen said he isn't sure if there should be any free parking at park-and-ride lots.

"I think then you could have a rush for the free spots again and it might create more problems than it's worth," he said.

Having commuters pay to use all stalls at park-and-ride lots would eliminate the need to increase rates, McKeen added.