News   Dec 05, 2019
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News   Dec 05, 2019
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News   Dec 05, 2019
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City: Parking rates won't climb

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billonlogan

Guest
By ROB GRANATSTEIN, CITY HALL BUREAU
Toronto Sun

In a year when Torontonians face a property tax increase, and will see water rates hiked 9%, there is a little bit of good news: On-street parking rates will not be going up.

"Our rates are pretty well where they should be," said Toronto Parking Authority president Maurice Anderson.

On-street parking was raised to $3 an hour in the downtown core two years ago and Anderson said that's where it will stay.

Anderson said there's often pressure from people who want to see more revenue come to the city from the TPA to make downtown parking as expensive as it is in cities like Vancouver, where it's $4.50 an hour. "We're generating as much money as anyone," he said. "Do I really care what anyone else is charging?"

The Green P lots, also under the control of the TPA, could see small increases but nothing significant, he said.

Don't expect any savings when the new government cuts the GST from 7% to 6%.

"It's very expensive to change all these machines to give an extra 3 cents of parking,"Anderson said.

That means more money for Toronto's coffers. The TPA takes in $92.5 million in parking revenue, so a full year of the reduced GST would mean an extra $925,000 for the city that would have previously gone to the feds.

--------------------------------------------

I like the last paragraph, the city will reap the rewards of the reduced GST. Already the new Harper government is paying dividends to the City of Toronto.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

Guest
billonlogan:

GST rebate for municipal service delivery has already been made available to since 2004.

www.fin.gc.ca/news04/data/04-007_1e.html

Besides, to put things into perspective $1M vs. the potential for hundred of millions for dedicated urban funding...

AoD
 
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DarnDirtyApe

Guest
So, TTC fares rise 5 per cent, yet they hold the line on our already underpriced on-street parking?

I don't understand why the city thinks it should keep municipal parking rates so low, when private lots charge at least double.
 
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Mislav

Guest
:rollin

Oh my I can only imagine the rage that some people on this forum are feeling right now.
 
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rbtaylor

Guest
Oh my I can only imagine the rage that some people on this forum are feeling right now.
So long as the amount of parking continues to decrease as a %age of the downtown population (residents and employees), I'm happy.

The rates don't really matter much. They are already well above the cost of maintaining the actual parking spot and will remain well below the cost of maintaining the roads.
 
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Mislav

Guest
The rates don't really matter much.
I agree. Nonetheless the prices don't affect me since during the day I take the subway downtown but at night I always find free parking - you just have to walk an additional 5 minutes. I find it funny on how the 905-ers pay $20-$25 parking on Richmond St.
 
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Chuck100

Guest
I think that more should be done to preserve street parking for actual residents in downtown neighbourhoods. If I was working now rather than in school, my job would absolutely require me to have a car. But because my house has no parking available, I would have no choice but to park on teh street. And because of all the non residents who infiltrate my area, I would have to circle the neighbourhood for 30 minutes before finding a spot.

Therefore I think that side street parking in residential areas should be priced extremely high, say 20 bucks an hour, unless you have a parking pass which costs about $11 per month. Residents could have the option of purchasing a visitor pass, which when displayed allows the user to park for a flat rate of maybe $20, which is still more than the average car pays now.
 
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EnviroTO

Guest
If the city is broke and supports transit then this sends the wrong signal. Council supposedly supports the Ridership Growth Strategy as an affordable way to make improvements to transit because of the realities of not having enough money for subway expansion. One of the suggestions of the strategy was to reduce fares and raising fares is the complete opposite of that. If they are serious about being broke with respect to funding the TTC how can they not require parking rate increases? They want to make transit less desirable but want to try and maintain the same level of parking desirability? It only seems fair that all fees in the city go up 5% if the city is really that strapped for cash that they can't deliver on one of their core priorities which is the TTC. Why stick it to transit user fees and not other user fees? It is all the same budget.
 
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rbtaylor

Guest
If they are serious about being broke with respect to funding the TTC how can they not require parking rate increases?
They did raise parking rates, but indirectly. Remember that tax package that dropped taxes on commercial space? Well, it also folds commercial parking lots into the commercial rate. This means commercial parking lots will increase in taxation by about 15% per year for 10 or so years.

This increase is far more important to me since it means that a surface lot will actually have higher taxation than a residential building. It should make for the end of early demolition with conversions to temporary parking.
 
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boiler2000

Guest
^ You're forgetting that taxes aren't the only financial parameter there. A parking lot makes money, while an empty building doesn't.
 
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Mike in TO

Guest
Maybe strategy would be to charge higher on street rates for high demand parking areas while holding the current rates for areas in less demand and residential areas.
 
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DarnDirtyApe

Guest
That's what makes sense if you actually want on-street parking in front of shops to be available. If parking is too cheap then people will use it for long periods of time, making it difficult for someone to nip into a store for 10 minutes.
 
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green22

Guest
"So long as the amount of parking continues to decrease as a %age of the downtown population (residents and employees), I'm happy."

The city's population has remained stable for the last 2 years and employment has declined. Because of parking regulations we are adding thousands of new parking spaces whether downtown or otherwise. Buildings constructed before parking regulations (before 1950's) are gradually being replaced by buildings which meet the code and make sure that parking spaces are available and cheap. Downtown today has less population than it had in the 1940's when there was many times fewer parking spots.

"The rates don't really matter much. They are already well above the cost of maintaining the actual parking spot and will remain well below the cost of maintaining the roads."

The rates charged by the parking authorities probably would pay the costs of maintaining the parking spaces but paving is probably one of the less costly aspects of parking spaces. The largest potential economic cost of parking spaces in these prime locations would likely be the property taxes, but TPA land and streets are city owned (property tax exempt).

The TPA likes to say that they make profits for the city, but when you point out that they don't pay property taxes and have access to many other powers (indirect expropriation, benefitting assessment, receive funds from payment-in-lieu program, public-private joint leasing agreements) they then switch the argument to talk about the benefits of cheap and abundant parking for a healthy city.

Private lots near TPA lots generally charge considerably more than the TPA, but they do not charge market rates. The market for parking spaces is radically alterred by municipal parking requirements which bare no relation to the market. If you place the requirements high enough, you will depress the value of a parking space to almost zero, resulting in 'free' parking. The subsidization of parking by private businesses is reflected in the costs of services (condo prices, food etc). The subsidization of parking by the TPA is paid for by your property taxes.
 
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Chuck100

Guest
Two more things to say:

1) When you're talking about parking spots in downtown condos, most of the cars that use it are there because people like the security of having a car. It's doubtful that the car actually gets any use except when the owner works outside downtown, goes grocery shopping which is a pain in the ASS without a car, or goes out of town. These spots don't necessarily translate into higher congestion downtown.

2) When it comes to parking spots in downtown office towers and commercial areas, high parking demand is a symptom of an even larger problem, which is lack of transit in the suburbs. Where it exists, people happily spend over $300 a month on GO because it offers a better alternative than driving. Money is clearly not an issue here, but access is. Invest billions of dollars in the suburbs which is where it's needed most, and parking demand downtown will evaporate.

GO has removed far more cars than high parking fees ever could, becuase it gets people out of their cars naturally. Boosting parking fees without providing alternatives will hurt downtown more than it will help it.
 
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green22

Guest
"GO has removed far more cars than high parking fees ever could, becuase it gets people out of their cars naturally. Boosting parking fees without providing alternatives will hurt downtown more than it will help it."

Toronto was forced to pay a large portion for highways to (and within) the suburbs (as well as other suburban infrastructure). Although Toronto has never had any choice in the matter, the argument has been that providing highways to the suburbs combined with more parking would make Toronto a more accessible and successful place.

Experience has shown that the highways or rapid travel routes allowed workers to live farther away from their workplace (urban areas). Once these routes were built workers could now live outside the city and still maintain a typical 45 minute commute time. The result of these kinds of policies was that Toronto and other central cities were forced to subsidize the suburbs they were competing with (tax base). First office workers left to the suburbs and next jobs relocated to be near the highly skilled workforce.

Toronto is also the largest municipal contributer to GO which is geared to expressing commuters out of the city to reach their cars. Unlike a subway train which does not run express to far-flung parking lots, GO servicee acts more like a freeway, except that it It acts in much the same way as a freeway except that it is much more space efficient and shifts the storage of cars away from the core to locations surrounding its stations.

Parking prices have been shown to be one of the most important factors affecting automobile usage. Unlike the price of a car or insurance the pricing and availability of parking, has the potential to affect each trip. The government's decision to oversupply parking (lowers price) and force the private sector to do likewise has been one of the driving forces in creating an auto-dependent world.
Using fuel taxes to build and expand roads and not rail is another (rail pays fuel taxes). Charging property taxes to rail and not roads (or government parking) is another major advantage for one mode over another. Billions to the oil industry, billions to the auto industry. Sin tax on cigarettes (2nd hand smoke) but no sin tax for vehicle exhaust.

Almost every municipal Official Plan has flowery language about promoting transit and lowering car use, but they're not ready or willing to actually change things. We've created a world in which most (especially the wealthy & powerful) drive, and they will not give up subsidies without a fight. As McGuinty likes to say, "in an ideal world..."
 

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