Parking meters boost Vancouver revenue

Income from Vancouver parking metres hit $40 million in 2011, but another city in the metro region has found it can still make do without that source of revenue.

Contrasts with municipality of Delta, where parking is free

While Vancouver now depends on parking meter money, Delta, B.C., lets you park for free 2:15

Income from Vancouver parking meters has increased 25 per cent in two years to nearly $40 million in 2011 — but not every municipality in the metro region finds it necessary to raise funds that way.

Vancouver City Councillor Heather Deal says the city needs the money.

"The cost of the land that a parking spot is on is very expensive. It's expensive to pave those roads, it's expensive to put in those meters, so having to pay for the parking only makes sense," Deal said Friday.

Some drivers who get stung at the meters aren’t as understanding.

"It's an absolute rip-off," said one man who found a $35 ticket on his car Friday after parking at a $4-an-hour meter. "I think of instead of reducing all the parking spaces they should actually create some parking spaces for the public."

Free-parking zone

By contrast, the municipality of Delta has no parking meters, which is good news for shoppers and businesses

"There's always a place for people to park, and even though it's busy, as you can see, looking around the streets, lots of cars parked," said Chris Scurr, of the Delta Chamber of Commerce.

It’s just a perk of living in Delta, said Mayor Lois Jackson, who plans to keep the community a free-parking zone.

"We budget for no parking," Jackson said. "We manage very well and we manage without parking fees."

Years ago, Delta Council also turned down a proposal to make drivers pay to park at its hospital. Council also has resisted instituting user-pay at its two transit park and rides.

With files from the CBC's Dan Burritt