No more free parking?

By Cycle CanadaPosted on

Toronto motorcyclists may pay for parking
Toronto may end its free-parking program for motorcycles, which for eight years has allowed riders to park without paying in metered street spots and provided free overnight permits for parking in front of homes.

A city Works committee has provided a report to city council on money that could be generated by charging motorcyclists for parking on city streets, and on resolving an issue of scooters and e-bikes parking on sidewalks.

The report predicts from $125,000 to $250,000 of additional annual revenue, mainly from motorcycles parked at metered spots. It suggests providing “designated spaces” for motorcycle and scooter parking. These might be areas where motorcycles currently tend to park in numbers, said Transportation Services director Jacqueline White.

The report also suggests that motorcycle parking fees could be lower than fees for larger vehicles.

The city adopted free motorcycle parking for two reasons: to reduce traffic congestion by encouraging the use of motorcycles, and to solve a problem of parking fee receipts being stolen from motorcycles and used in cars. The current system in Toronto uses machines that take payment by cash or credit card and dispense receipts that are left visible on or in a vehicle. A new system, called pay-by-plate, will soon be tested, and abolishing free motorcycle parking won’t take place until the new system is proven and put into place. White did not know how pay-by-plate would work, but it would be an electronic system that would eliminate the problem of receipts being stolen from motorcycles.

The establishment of designated motorcycle-parking spaces would also need to be completed before free parking is done away with, said White. She noted that the Works committee’s report is only a report, and city council will discuss the matter and decide whether or not to adopt its recommendations.
White did not know how soon parking spaces might be allotted or the new technology of pay-by-plate could be approved.


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