The cheapest and most expensive places to park in Vancouver (MAP)

Mar 31 2023, 10:45 pm

Where you decide to park your car could cost you. In the City of Vancouver, parking meters have different rates ranging from as little as $1 per hour up to $11 per hour. But how are you supposed to know where the cheapest meters are?

Daily Hive Urbanized heard from Alina Cheng, Branch Manager of the City’s Parking Management, about parking in the city.

Paid parking maps

Highlight some of the cheaper and more expensive parking areas in neighbourhoods you frequent to try and plan in advance to save money the next time you’re “feeding the meter.”

Using VanMaps, you can turn on the Parking Meters (Rates) and Parking Pay Stations layers to see the cheapest and most expensive parking.

pay parking

VanMaps screenshot

In some areas, cheaper parking can be just down the street.

For example, if you’re parking on the 700 block of West Cordova Street, expect to pay $9 per hour. One block away, at 700 West Hastings, it’s $6 per hour.

Some of the cheapest downtown parking is on Seymour Street, right by Robson Street, at $3 per hour.

Check the map to see where you can avoid expensive spots and keep more affordable spots in mind the next time you drive downtown.

Here’s a map of all the parking available in Vancouver; you can toggle to see the cheapest and most expensive:

Parking meter policies

According to the city, its parking meter policies are designed to help people get parking close to their destinations. They strive to have “at least one or two parking spaces available on each block at all times” to help support business activity and minimize “circling the block” hunting for a spot, which can contribute to congestion and traffic.

Parking meter rates

There are two-time bands for pay parking, and rates are in effect seven days a week:

  • Daytime from 9 am to 6 pm, when parking meter rates range from $1 per hour to $11 per hour
  • Evening from 6 pm to 10 pm, when parking meter rates range from $1 per hour to $7 per hour

Why do parking meters range in price?

The city uses “parking occupancy thresholds” to figure out how busy a block is. From that, they decide whether they should raise or decrease the parking metre rate.

“If parking on a block is more than 85% full, that is considered a “high” demand block. If parking on a block is less than 60% full, then it is considered a “low” demand block,” said Chen.

“The target occupancy is to have parking be 60%-84% full, which typically translates to having a few parking spaces available on each block.”

Each earh, parking meter rates are adjusted to help get to target occupancies.

“A high demand block will see the price increase by $1 per hour, whereas a low demand block will see the price decrease by $1 per hour to no lower than $1/hour,” said Chen.

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