A new demand-responsive pricing model for parking is being proposed for central Hamilton from 1 January 2025 after a majority of Council voted on Wednesday to include it for consultation in its draft 2024-2034 Long-Term budget.
If the new demand-responsive pricing model gets approved for the final Long-Term Plan, it would replace the current two-hour free parking trial – which has been operating in central Hamilton since October 2017 – and come into effect on 1 January 2025.
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said she welcomes public feedback on the proposed change to parking during the Long-Term Plan consultation phase early next year.
“I guarantee that we will hear from people on this proposal. But I feel like it would be remiss of us to overlook a source of revenue like this,” she said.
“The current parking trial has always been described as ‘free parking’ but it is not actually free – it does come at a cost and is subsidised by the ratepayer and central city businesses. Prior to the free parking trial, Council generated about $600,000 annually from parking and I am told this is now potentially $800,000 or more. We don’t have a lot of sources of revenue, so any that we do have I feel we are obliged to fully explore.”
Existing coin-operated parking meters in the central city will be replaced with electronic parking kiosks in the first half of next year, with funding for this previously approved under the existing 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan.
While it is proposed that the two-hour free parking trial remains in place until the end of 2024, it was noted that drivers would still be required to enter their licence plate numbers into the new kiosks once they have been installed, or the PayMyPark App, to self-validate their free parking and enable monitoring of the amount of time they occupy the car park.
The community can have their say on any project that is in, or not in, the 2024-34 Long-Term Plan during the consultation period in March and April next year.