Hamilton

On-street parking rates in Hamilton are increasing from $1.50 to $2 per hour

Parking in Hamilton is about to get more expensive, but the city will soon introduce an app to make it a little easier for people to pay.

'I don't know that keeping our parking rates dramatically low is going to help us'

Hamilton's metered parking rates are increasing by 50 cents per hour. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Parking in Hamilton is about to get more expensive, but the city will soon introduce an app to make it more convenient for people to pay.

Hamilton city councillors voted Monday to increase rates at parking meters by 50 cents to $2 per hour, and at downtown lots up to $3 per hour, or $12 per day. Fines will also increase for violations such as parking at an expired meter, and parking passes at municipal lots will increase by $10 per month.

These changes will only generate about $800,000 this year because they will take effect partway through 2020, the city says. In future years, though, they will generate well over $1 million.

The hourly rate puts Hamilton's metered rate in line with the Ontario average of $2.02 per hour, a staff report says. 

Mayor Fred Eisenberger said Monday that there's nothing to gain from having the cheapest parking. "I don't know that keeping our parking rates dramatically low is going to help us."

Parking meters brought in $2.4 million in gross revenue in 2018, says a staff report. The 50-cent increase will generate about $560,000 more per year.

The increase at off-street parking lots will generate about $376,000 per year when fully implemented, the report says. The $10 monthly increase in permits will generate $306,000 per year.

Parking tickets will increase too. The fine for parking at an expired meter is $24, the report says. Increasing it by a dollar more will bring in $28,629 more in revenue per year. 

Parking in a no parking area will increase from $33 to $35, and from $75 to $80 in a signed no stopping area. All told, the increase in parking penalties will generate about $383,000 per year. 

The city will also roll out an app in June, staff say, so people can use their phones to put more money in the meter.

With the app, says parking head Brian Hollingworth, people "[can] stand in their place of business and recharge the meter." 

There will be a service fee of 15 cents to use the app, he said. 

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