Diodati leads push for dynamic parking pricing

At Diodati’s behest, Niagara Falls City Council will discuss the idea of dynamic parking pricing at its May 28 meeting. Photo Credit: iStock. 

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati is leading a new push to implement dynamic pricing in public parking areas.

Diodati says that after hundreds of thousands flocked to Niagara Falls to watch and celebrate the eclipse, it’s clear that the city has a parking space issue.

Diodati is promoting the idea of dynamic pricing, which would see the cost to park in a public parking space vary based on the time of day or day of the week. That way, prices could increase at busy times and in advance of big-ticket events.

The idea is to have city parking move with the supply and demand of the market place. 

“If you go to a Super Bowl game or to the Rogers Centre during a big game or spring break for Disney, you’re going to pay more for everything,” said Diodati. “It’s just kind of how it works.”

Diodati only plans to move forward with his proposal should it win favour with local stakeholders and residents. He feels that a lot of money is being left on the table that could be used to pad the city’s budget.

The city is presently facing a shortage on parking. The idea would be to increase prices at peak demand times in order to decrease demand and bring it in line with supply. 

Doing so would require a great deal of investment in new technology and likely would mean hiring more boots on the ground. 

Niagara Falls’ public parking system is fully automated, so at the present time implementing dynamic parking pricing wouldn’t be possible. 

Diodati is hoping that residents will buy into the idea, particularly because more revenue from parking could mean lower property tax increases going forward.

It’s also an idea he thinks could receive support from local taxpayers because much of the dynamic pricing would make it more expensive (and profitable) for tourists to park in Niagara Falls. 

Dynamic parking pricing has already been introduced in cities like Albany and Aspen in the United States, according to the Pembina Institute.

A Pembina Institute report published in 2021 suggests that dynamic pricing could keep curbside parking occupancies lower, reduce wasted time drivers spend searching for parking, lower travel time and increase collected parking revenue. 

That same report suggests that cities could more than double parking revenue should they pursue a dynamic pricing policy. 

At Diodati’s behest, Niagara Falls City Council will discuss the idea of dynamic parking pricing at its May 28 meeting.

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