An upgrade to how people pay for parking in the downtown is now up and running, with the goal of providing more convenience and flexibility for residents.
The City's aging parking meters were covered over the weekend directing residents to now use the brightly coloured kiosks located throughout the downtown. To help in the transition, residents will also see parking ambassadors on the street for the next two weeks. These City staff will be wearing yellow shirts and are available to help to answer any questions or concerns with the new system.
"This is another sign of how our City is growing up," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "We talk a lot about the importance of being a "smart city" and using technology to make us more efficient. That's what this new system does."
The kiosks are solar powered making them more cost effective and environmentally friendly to operate than the previous parking meters that used AA batteries.
To use the system, motorists will park in one of the over 1900 downtown parking stalls, walk to the nearest kiosks, select the zone they are parked in, enter their plate number and pay for their parking by coin or credit card. There is no need to return to the vehicle with a ticket as enforcement is done using license plate recognition software.
Drivers may also choose to pay for their parking through a smartphone app called Way to Park. The app allows users to pay for and monitoring parking time, view what zone they're located in and receive an email receipt. The app also gives the option of registering more than one license plate number and/or multiple payment methods. Drivers can choose their option when they park based on what vehicle they are driving and how they want to pay for the parking session creating more flexibility.
Evening and weekend parking will remain free and the new system will not accept payment during that time.
"With our old system, people often paid during the free times because they didn't realize or they forgot and just plugged the meter. With the new system, it won't accept any payments for those free hours," says Val Fellger, Parking Coordinator for the City of Lethbridge. "If you arrive in the downtown early in the morning you can also pre-pay your parking and you won't start paying until paid parking begins at 8 a.m."
The technology within the new system will provide the City with important data to help manage parking in the downtown core and to make informed decisions on any changes required.
The parking rates will stay consistent at $1/hr in the two and three hour zones and $0.45/hr in the ten hour zone. Paid parking is used in the downtown to deter all-day parking, ensuring parking turnover and the ongoing availability of spaces for shoppers and visitors. This also helps foster a vibrant downtown with increased business activity and revenue opportunities.
For more information on the new downtown parking system visit www.lethbridge.ca/downtownparking.
Val Fellger, Parking |City of Lethbridge
403-320-4085 | firstname.lastname@example.org