Parking fees will now be reduced across the City of Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria reduces parking fees during COVID-19 health emergency

Parkades, parking lots and on-street parking to see reduced fees

Victoria will lower city parking costs while the provincially-mandated COVID-19 public health emergency is activated.

On Thursday afternoon city council discussed a revised version of a motion originally set to make parking in downtown parkades free to help alleviate the financial burden.

On April 3 Coun. Ben Isitt said this would be “providing relief to someone who doesn’t need it,” since that person is likely using the parkade because he or she still has a job.

READ MORE: Victoria fears people would take advantage of free parking, votes to keep fees in place

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe had argued that many people driving downtown are working reduced hours, or are trying to support local downtown business.

The motion was sent back to staff for reconsideration. They brought it back this week suggesting discounted rates instead.

Parking rates will now be reduced to $1 per hour, with a maximum of five hours in parkades with the first hour free (compared to first hour free and $2 to $3 for the following hours) and parking lots, and on-street parking will also be limited to $1 per hour (down from $1.50-$3.00 per hour). Time limited zones will no longer be enforced, with the exception of 30-minute zones, and monthly rates will be brought down to $85 per month (usually ranging from $180-$240).

ALSO READ: Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

The rates will stay in place until staff put forward alternative recommendations, even after the public health emergency is lifted.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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