Calgary

Visitors to Banff will now have to pay for downtown parking

The Town of Banff kicked off its visitor pay parking program on Monday, with rates of $3 per hour during the summer and $2 in the winter. 

Program is meant to encourage more tourists to walk and take transit

Crowds walking in Banff in June. The town has introduced paid parking for visitors downtown in order to encourage walking and transit. (Helen Pike/CBC)

Parking in downtown Banff will now cost you. 

The town kicked off its visitor pay parking program on Monday, with rates of $3 per hour during the summer and $2 in the winter. 

Officials hope it will encourage more people to walk or take transit instead of driving. 

Mayor Karen Sorensen says visitors can still find free parking alternatives at the Banff Train Station, Bow Avenue and the Bear Street Parkade.

"So there is still a possibility to park for free for longer periods of time, but if you choose to be right in the downtown core, and are more on a short-term basis, then user-pay parking will be enforced," she said. 

Visitors can pay through parking machines, an app or an online payment portal.

Residents are eligible for free parking permits for residential streets surrounding downtown. The system also allows some free downtown parking for locals as well.

The mayor says the town will focus initially on education instead of enforcement.

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