Vancouver’s $400 parking permits

The City of Vancouver prices residential parking permits at $401.13 (Canadian dollars), equivalent to $422 Australian, which is labelled as “Market rate”.

Image credit: City of Vancouver

This applies to the West End parking zone, an area with high demand:

Image credit: City of Vancouver

The West End is a mostly residential area close to the central business district, similar to the City of Yarra:

Image credit: Google Maps

The Sightline Institute reports that parking permit fees were raised to $400 as a way of overcoming community opposition to people parking on the street instead of their off-street underground parking bays, but it is still far less than the real market rate:

Image credit: Sightline Institute

Apart from increasing the price of residential parking permits, Vancouver has also reformed other aspects of parking management, including eliminating parking minimums, which decreases the cost of housing, and expanding permit zones to cover most streets in high demand areas.

Image credit: Sightline Institute

Learnings for Yarra

Vancouver shows that increasing the price for residential parking permits to match market rates can solve problems and win community support. Yarra can do this too. Our population density is increasing and our parking bays are becoming congested. People who need to drive and park are being prevented from doing so, because they can’t find a park. Council has adopted a Social Justice Charter, and it’s a matter of social justice for council to better manage parking occupancy, including by using pricing to manage demand, so that people who need to drive and park are able to do so. Vancouver has shown the way, and Yarra can follow, for example by increasing the price for our own residential parking permits from $41 (or 11 cents per day) to $365 (or $1 per day). Similar to Vancouver, this would still be far less than the real market rate, which is at least $3,000 per year.

Published 11th May 2021