Calgary Transit is upping the number of reserved parking spots at one Park and Ride station, while decreasing the number of reserved stalls at another.
The changes are coming to the Blue Line West between 69 Street Station and Sunalta Station.
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As of March 1, the number of reserved parking stalls offered at the 69 Street Station will increase to 472 from 368 and the number of reserved stalls at Sirocco Station will drop to 52 from 90 to make room for more free parking stalls.
Nikhil Lobo, manager of transit planning for the City of Calgary, tells Global News the 69 Street Station is the “highest in demand for reserve parking.”
“There’s are currently almost 2,000 people on a waiting list, and a lot of those people have been on a waiting list since 2016. So there is clearly a large demand there,” he said. “What we are trying to do is increase the reserve parking capacity so we will be increasing the number of reserve spots by 104.”
Lobo said drivers looking for a Park and Ride stall along the west leg of the LRT are encouraged to try switching things up by visiting Sirocco Station instead of 69 Street Station.
“It’s about a four-minute drive away from 69 Street, but there’s a lot more reserved parking availability, he said. “And there’s a lot of free parking available as well.”
Reserve parking costs $85 a month. Lobo says the fee helps boost Calgary Transit’s revenue, which in turn allows them to keep transit fares lower.
The changes to the Park and Ride stalls are possible now that city councillors have revised the City of Calgary’s Park and Ride policy.
Previously, Calgary Transit was only able to use half of the parking spots in each Park and Ride lot for reserved parking patrons. Now, 50 per cent of the total number of Park and Ride spots on each leg of the LRT can be used for reserved parking.
(Calgary Transit has four “legs” on the CTrain system: Red Line N.W., Blue Line West, Red Line South and Blue Line N.E.)
The new policy makes it easier for Calgary Transit to offer reserved parking where there is higher demand, so long as the total number of reserved stalls does not exceed 50 per cent per leg.
In total, the number of parking spaces at Park and Ride Stations along the Blue Line West is 1,275.
Lobo said Calgary Transit will continue to review reserved parking demand at Park and Ride lots and adjust as needed, within the revised Park and Ride policy.
Some Calgarians who use Park and Ride locations complain that reserved stalls are empty when they arrive in the morning, while free stalls are all filled up.
Lobo said there is heavy demand for free parking spots.
“The way the reserve parking system works is that those stalls are reserved between 2 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” he explained. “If you are looking for a free spot, yes, you might have to come a little bit earlier.
He said they do find the reserved stalls are “used up” by 10 a.m.
— With files from Doug Vaessen