Plan to charge out-of-towners more to reserve LRT parking nixed by council

The City of Calgary is dropping the idea of charging people who live outside the city more money to reserve a spot in LRT park and ride lots.

Coun. Shane Keating says doing anything to discourage parking in LRT lots would cause other problems

The City of Calgary has given up on a plan to charge out-of-towners more to reserve a spot in the LRT park and ride lots. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

The City of Calgary is dropping the idea of charging people who live outside the city more money to reserve a spot in LRT park and ride lots.

Council asked for a report on how such a system could work. A council committee heard Wednesday that it would track parkers based on their license plates, ask them to provide identification when registering for a reserved spot or offer discount codes on parking to Calgarians.

Ultimately, council decided the cost of imposing a system to track out-of-towners just wasn't worth it.

Coun. Shane Keating said doing anything that would discourage parking in LRT lots would just cause other problems.

"When all is said and done, you never get all of the money that's being charged extra. You only get a portion of that and is that portion worth it?" he said.

"They determined in this case, probably for the aggravation to the users, the users who might try and skirt it — park in the neighbourhood and a number of these things — it probably wasn't really beneficial as far as the dollar value that they were going to gain."

Keating said 15 per cent of transit users actually use the park and ride lots.

It costs the city about $11 million a year to provide park and ride lots. Parking is free unless you reserve a sport to guarantee a place. 

Last year, reserved fees netted the city $3.4 million.

WIth files from Jennifer Lee