Saskatoon to hike early-pay option for parking fines
All-day parkers currently save $8 by getting a ticket and paying it on time
The city of Saskatoon wants to double the amount a person pays for looking after a parking ticket in a timely fashion.
Currently, the city's early-payment option allows people to pay $10 if a parking ticket is paid within 14 days.
The city discovered, however, that drivers were using the early payment option as a cheap form of all-day parking, because the hourly rate at parking meters is $2.
"The cost to park at a meter for the entire day (i.e. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) would be $18, whereas the penalty to park at an unpaid meter for the entire day could be as low as $10, if paid within 14 days," the city noted in a report to council on the issue.
The city is recommending the early payment option increase to $20.
After 14 days, however, the full amount of the fine — $50 — would be charged. There was no plan to change that amount.
According to the city, revenues from parking meters have increased since rates went to $2 per hour in 2010.
But it did not take long for people to understand the cost savings associated with the $10 early payment option.
The city said revenues from parking tickets increased at an even greater rate since 2010.
Saskatoon's Broadway Business Improvement District told officials they supported the change after noting that turnover at parking meters was very poor.
If city council approves the recommendation at its meeting on Monday, the increased early payment amount would be put into effect June 1.