May 11, 2017 10:46 am
Updated: May 11, 2017 10:50 am

Calgary residential parking permit changes: everything you need to know

WATCH: Calgary Parking Authority general manager Mike Derbyshire joins Global Calgary to explain how residential zone photo parking enforcement will roll out in August.

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As Calgary makes the move to electronic residential permits instead of paper permits, it’s likely that citizens will have questions about the program and its rollout.

On Thursday, Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) general manager Mike Derbyshire joined Global Calgary to explain how the new parking enforcement will work.

Why is the City of Calgary changing to paperless residential parking permits?

“It’s about efficiency and effectiveness,” Derbyshire said. “We’re trying to create a system and an approach that gets us into the 21st century.”

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“There’s 77 residential parking permits areas in Calgary, some as small as a few square blocks – others a lot bigger. Manual enforcement of those – to have our officers go out and patrol on a car-by-car basis, looking for hang tags and stickers – is very cumbersome and time consuming.”

READ MORE: Calgary residential parking enforcement to be turned over to Park Plus

Enforcement of residential parking zones under the new electronic system will be done primarily by photo enforcement and supplemented by enforcement officers who will respond to requests from residents.

“With the Park Plus vehicles – and using cameras and automated enforcement – we’re able to get to a lot more of those areas a lot quicker and respond to residents’ concerns about some of these issues that they have with non-residents parking in their areas,” he explained.

“We’ve been working on this since about 2014, and in our research we determined that no other major North American city is doing this,” Derbyshire added. “The learning curve for Calgarians is going to be quite simple I believe.”

When is Calgary’s residential parking program changing?

Starting Aug. 1, residential zones in Calgary will be transitioned to the new online system a few zones at a time as they come up for renewal.

“We’ll be rolling this out over the course of a year as zones expire,” Derbyshire said.

Which communities will be using the new electronic parking permits?

All 77 Calgary neighbourhoods currently using paper permits.

Will I have to pay more?

No. Residents will not be asked to pay any new fees.

How do I sign up?

When your permit is close to expiring, you will be asked to register for an online account. The CPA said it will be mailing out reminder notices to residents.

What if I don’t have the internet or a smartphone?

For those who don’t have internet access or a smart phone, Derbyshire said the CPA will be maintaining the counter at its main office to help residents set up accounts. They will also be helping residents sign up via phone.

How do I manage my parking pass – or register guests?

Electronic permits – which will be linked to license plates — must be managed using an online Residential Parking Permits (RPP) system.

Residents are able to get their permits online and register their guests online.

When registering a visitor’s licence plate, the CPA said it will be covered for 14 days.

Most residents will be allowed to have two visitor permits active at a time.

“We would encourage residents to stay on top of their visitors in terms of activating or de-activating their sessions,” Derbyshire said.

Instructions for how to set up an online account and how to manage your residential and visitor permits in the online RPP system will be provided to residents in advance of their renewal date.

How long will permits be valid for?

With the new system, the CPA said permits will be valid for two years instead of one.

Will I still be able to park my vehicle(s) anywhere within the permit required zone?

Yes, your permit(s) will continue to allow you to park anywhere within the zone to which your vehicle is permitted.

What is the cost to taxpayers to create this new parking system?

According to the CPA, the cost to implement the changes to the RPP program is approximately $400,000. “The CPA operates without any taxpayer funding and in fact,” the CPA’s website states. “We’ve returned more than $135 million in revenue and taxes to the city in the past five years.”

Still have questions? Visit the CPA website for more details on electronic residental parking permits. 

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