Kelowna hiking parking fees and fines

Cost going up in city owned lots but staying the same at street-side meters.

The cost of parking in City of Kelowna parking lots is going up.

In its ongoing bid to encourage use of public transit, the city says it’s following the lead of an increase to transit fares earlier this year by hiking the cost of parking in city lots for the day to $6 from $5 to keep it slightly more expensive than a two-way bus ride. Single journey bus rides now cost $2.50 each.

In addition, monthly rates in city lots are going up to between $62 and $77 from between the current $53 and $66, an average of $8 less than in private lots says the city.

Reserved parking in city-owned lots will jump to $116 from $99 a month now.

The cost of parking at a street-side meter in the city ($1.25 per hour) is not being raised, nor is the hourly rate of $1 per hour at city-owned lots.

The city is also decreasing the break it gives drivers with tickets who pay early.

While the base rate of $30 won’t change for fines such as parking at an expired meter or off-street parking without a pass, the “early” payment option of paying just $10 within the first 14 days will now jump to $20 if paid in the first 14 days.

The late payment charge will remain at $35 for all three offences.

For parking outside at metered space or parking in the same block for more than two hours, the fines will jump to $20 from $10.

If paid within the first 14 days, drivers will get a $5 reduction now instead of the $15 reduction they used to get.

The late charge for both offences is also going up, to $25 from $15.

While the city wants to encourage use of public transit and to create more turn over of spaces, especially in commercial areas, it also says the new parking rates will help pay for improved parking facilities.

In a report to council, city staff said it costs $34,402 per stall to build new parkades and another $311 per stall per month to maintain them.

So it says it needs to recover at least $122 per stall per month to cover its costs.