City's parking revenue up despite lost spots

Revenue from the City of Ottawa's parking operations held steady last year despite losing nearly 200 spots.

Slight rise due to increase in on-street permits, staff say

Parking revenue from city-owned lots and metered on-street spots rose slightly in 2018. (CBC)

Revenue from the City of Ottawa's parking operations held steady last year despite losing nearly 200 metered spots.

Ottawa's 6,631 metered parking spots, both curbside and in city-owned lots, generated $17.6 million in 2018, up slightly from $17.4 million the year before.

According to a report to the city's transportation committee, the city controlled 193 fewer parking spaces last year than in 2017, losing on-street spots and two surface parking lots on Queen Street, as well as 49 metered spots on Bayview Avenue due to changes to "curbside regulations."

The report doesn't specify why the spots disappeared.

The average on-street spot earned the city $727 last year, while the average off-street spot earned $982. That was up $170 and $360 over the previous year, respectively.

The number of people paying for parking using a credit card or mobile phone app also rose, while fewer than half used cash — still the single most popular payment method.

More permits issued

Last year's slight rise in on-street parking revenue was "primarily due to increased on-street permit revenues," according to the report.

That's expected to continue, with permits for on-street parking on residential streets rising $13 to $673 per year.

The daily maximum rate at city lots rose one dollar in 2019, from $23 to $24, while a monthly parking permit at a city lot rose $5 to a maximum of $245.

City staff are working on refreshing the parking strategy, and are expected to report back to the committee in June.

More bike spots

According to the report, there were 2,810 bike parking spaces at lollipop-shaped "ring-and-post" racks available to cyclists in 2018, an increase of 114 over the previous year. (The city counts two bike parking spaces per rack.)

There will be more bike racks at 50 OC Transpo stations in 2019, according to the city.

Once the parking strategy is done, staff are planning a specific bike parking study.

Staff will also study the parking situation in the Glebe, the ByWard Market and downtown core, and could review the city's 27 tour bus parking spots.

Both the 2018 report and the 2019 plan will be tabled before the transportation committee on May 1.


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