The response from Black Press readers to the idea of charging parking fees on Sunday to pay for free bus passes for youth has been swift, with almost 100 per cent voicing opposition to the idea. (Black Press file photo)

Public outcry to suggestion of Sunday parking fees to pay for youth bus passes

Council considering idea as part of draft strategic plan

There has been a significant response to the news that the City of Victoria is looking into giving youth access to free transit and paying for it by instating parking fees downtown on Sundays. The response from Black Press readers has been swift, with almost 100 per cent voicing opposition to the idea.

The concept was suggested by council in the City’s draft strategic plan, and Mayor Lisa Helps said one way the City could finance the costs would be by charging parking fees downtown on Sundays.

While there is no specific proposal at this time, council has asked city staff to report back with information about charging for parking on Sundays as part of the 2019 budgeting process.

RELATED: Victoria considers instating Sunday parking fees to subsidize youth transit passes

From negative impacts on downtown businesses to families being deterred from exploring the city, residents’ responses varied but the clear feedback to the idea was the same – no.

One reader recommended the City “subsidize free transit for the seniors instead who have no way to increase their income.”

Others said that free parking on Sunday is one of the last cherished reprieves from high parking fees, drawing locals downtown to enjoy brunch or lunch without having to worry about the time.

RELATED: Only half of Victoria’s accessible parking meets basic standards: report

The idea is in its very early stages and will need an agreed-upon partnership with BC Transit and public approval – which looks unlikely if the online feedback to the idea on Black Press sites is a true reflection of public response.

The final draft of the strategic draft plan will be published on Dec. 14 and will be up for public discussion until the end of January 2019.

– with files from Nicole Crescenzi


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