Nova Scotia

Halifax issues lots of parking tickets, but they're cheap(ish)

Halifax issues more parking tickets per capita than several other large Canadian cities.

Halifax's fines significantly lower than Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver

Halifax issued an average of 498 tickets a day in 2015. (CBC)

Halifax issues more parking tickets per capita than several other large Canadian cities. 

And that could be because Halifax's fines are also significantly lower than Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. 

"Maybe it's difficult for people to plug the meters, and the fines are such that maybe it's worthwhile taking a chance and not worrying about it," said Bob Bjerke, director of planning and development for the Halifax Regional Municipality. 

CBC's Marketplace analyzed more than 15 million tickets given over the past five years in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Halifax to find out where drivers get ticketed and why.

The investigation — the most comprehensive analysis of parking ticket data ever done in Canada — airs Friday on TV and online.

The city is looking at new technologies for meters that could integrate different parking rates for different times of day. (Robert Short/CBC)

The Marketplace analysis found Halifax issues an average of 498 tickets per day, and the average fine is $28. 

By comparison, the next lowest fine average is $46 in Toronto. The most expensive parking tickets are in Winnipeg, at $86 each on average.

Other jurisdictions issue more tickets overall that Halifax, such as Toronto with an average of 5,941 tickets per day.

But when you factor in the population of the Halifax region compared to other Canadian cities, Halifax comes out on top.

  • Halifax issued 0.44 tickets per capita in 2015
  • Toronto's rate was 0.35
  • Montreal's rate was 0.27
  • Calgary's rate was 0.20
  • Winnipeg's rate was 0.20
  • Vancouver's rate was 0.16

'They might choose to go elsewhere'

Bjerke said it's important not to set parking fines too high, because drivers can get nervous about using parking meters. 

"If people perceive that there's such a big impact, they might choose to go elsewhere," he said. 

The worst place to park in Halifax is Lower Water Street, based on 2015 data. (CBC Marketplace)

Bjerke said Halifax is looking into new technologies for meters that could integrate different parking rates for different times of day, plus allow drivers to pay with a smartphone.

The Marketplace analysis also identified the five most ticketed streets in Halifax.

They are Lower Water Street, Robie Street, Dresden Row, Brunswick Street and University Avenue.

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