City of Victoria to add parking ambassadors

The City of Victoria is looking to hire roughly two dozen people to act as on-street parking ambassadors to enhance parking experience

The City of Victoria is looking to hire roughly two dozen people to act as on-street parking ambassadors to enhance the parking experience in the downtown core.

Parking ambassadors will be customer-focused city representatives, advocating for encouraging high parking turnover to support downtown businesses, and will provide directions and answer questions starting January 1, 2016.

The city is looking for 20 to 25 people to fill the full- and part-time positions between now and the end of the year.

Ambassadors will participate in a customer service training program and will be unionized staff represented by the Local 50 chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The model is traditionally a contracted enforcement one, but will now be under the city’s customer service fold.

“We have developed a business model and determined the in-house service can be provided at close to the same cost, while offering exceptional parking services and enhancing the vitality of downtown,” said Mayor Lisa Helps.

The parking review office will also move into City Hall, making it easier for customers to pay their tickets or have tickets reviewed.

After consultations in the spring of last year, citizens provided input to the city on parking changes and perceptions, a lot of which included the downtown parking experience and enforcement. As a result, in June, city council endorsed a series of recommendations, including directing staff to develop an in-house business plan for providing parking enforcement services.

Parkades are becoming increasingly popular in the city with 40,000 more transactions in parkades this March compared to the same month last year.

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