This week, Parking Consultants International spoke with Ismo Husu, from the Parking Services department of the City of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada.
The City of Victoria has recently installed a new on-street parking system, based on a pay-by-space principle. Ismo explained to us: “The users can keep their receipt that gives the expiry time. When the time expires they could purchase more time at any machine in the city by entering the space number they are parked in – it is indicated on the receipt as well. We also offer a chip value card that charges them for the maximum amount of time allowed when they log in and refunds unused time when they log off. It has been very popular.”
There are other advantages to the system as well. The meters will not start charging until the pay parking period begins – but allow you to pay prior to the period commencing.
Users can use any of the 270 pay stations across the city; enabling users to purchase more time from any of the pay stations, just by entering your bay number – printed on the receipt of the ticket. These 270 pay stations have replaced around 1,800 meters, often the inefficient and outdated coin-operated models.
As noted by Ismo, the system allows users to reclaim any unused money if the meter has not expired when they return to their vehicles, through a city pay park card – refunding based only on the time they have used.
It seems like the City of Victoria’s approach, in developing a system that is designed from the consumer perspective, makes a lot of sense.
Read more about the City of Victoria’s Pay by Space parking system in this information flyer from the City of Victoria, or this article published by the Times Colonist newspaper.