Montreal

SUV owners to pay more for parking in the Plateau

Luc Rabouin, the new Projet Montréal mayor of the borough, announced his intention to raise the permit prices for vehicles that produce more emissions at a council meeting earlier this month. 

Revenue to be put to $2 million deficit in borough budget

SUVs and other highly-polluting vehicles will soon have to pay more for parking permits on Plateau residential streets. (Thomas Gerbet/Radio-Canada)

SUVs and other highly polluting vehicles may soon have to pay more to park in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough.

Luc Rabouin, the new Projet Montréal mayor of the borough, announced his intention to raise the permit prices for vehicles that produce more emissions at a council meeting earlier this month. 

The plan is expected to be voted on in December. The price will remain the same for other cars.

At $140, the cost of a parking permit in the Plateau is already the highest in the city of Montreal.

"The ecological transition is a priority," said Rabouin at borough council on Nov. 4.

"The residents of the Plateau want us to act now, while there is still time."

Balancing the budget

Plateau councillor Alex Norris told CBC the measure was introduced as part of a presentation on the budget. The additional revenue is expected to go toward reducing a $2-million deficit in the borough's finances. 

The borough collects parking fees from meters on nearly all the commercial streets in the area, and approximately 50 per cent of residential streets are reserved for paid permit-holders. 

Luc Rabouin replaced Luc Ferrandez as Plateau-Mont-Royal mayor for Projet Montréal in an election earlier this year. (Radio-Canada)

On some streets, the borough sold 130 per cent of permits available, meaning there were more permits than parking spaces.

The Plateau isn't the first borough to bring in different pricing based on vehicle type. 

Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce enacted a new pricing system for permits based on the size of the vehicle's engine in June. Owners of vehicles with larger engines are charged more, while those with electric vehicle receive a rebate.

In Rosemont—La-Petite-Patrie, hybrid and electric vehicle owners also pay less than gasoline cars.

There hasn't been an increase in parking permit cost in the Plateau in eight years. 

Parking an easy target to curb city emissions

The director of Montreal's regional environmental council, Coralie Deny, praised the idea.

"[Montreal mayor Valérie Plante] and her team committed to very ambitious targets, with a 55 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050," Deny said. 

"If they want to get there, they have no choice but to attack parking."

According to an analysis published by the city of Montreal in 2016, 90 per cent of parking spaces in its boroughs are still free.

"If there is one place where it should be expensive to have a parking space, it is in the city centre," said Deny.

With files from Radio-Canada

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