By the end of March, transit users will no longer be able to park for free at Century Park.
On March 31, the last of the free park-and-ride stalls at the Century Park transit station will be turned back to the land developer. There are currently about 390 free stalls at the south Edmonton park-and-ride lot.
“It’s not going to be great,” said ETS customer Steven Mills. “Definitely going to take a hit in my budget.”
The transition is part of the lease agreement, as the park-and-ride land is not owned by the City of Edmonton.
After March 31, the land developer will be charging market rates for the stalls, the City of Edmonton said in a media release Thursday morning.
In June 2017, city council approved a long-term plan for Century Park, which will see the area turned into a transit-oriented urban village complete with residential development.
Since then, the city has been in the process of gradually returning the parking stalls back to the developer.
With the end of free parking at the site, the city encourages people to take the bus to the park-and-ride facility. Those coming into Edmonton from out of town can use park-and-ride services offered in Leduc and Beaumont, the city suggests.
There are other parking options in the area, which are available through Park Procura with differently monthly rate structures.
“Some people do find other parking arrangements in the area,” said Sarah Feldman, director of planning and scheduling for Edmonton Transit. “But what we encourage is for customers to either set up a parking arrangement with Park Procura or to use one of the many high-service bus routes that go to the station.”
ETS customer Daniel Cameron looked at eliminating driving altogether.
“Try and take some buses here and then hop onto the train.
“Unfortunately, from where I’m living, getting here in the morning, it’s like an hour on the bus or something ridiculous like that before I can even get on the train. My commute’s already an hour and half.”
Other transit users were not thrilled with the news.
“It sucks because I already pay almost 60 bucks for a bus pass,” Maya Kurtz said. “Then plus, I would have to pay to park here, so it’s just going to keep adding up.”
The original plan for the site called for a 1,200-stall city-owned parkade to be built at the cost of $60 million, but it was eliminated by the council of the day due to rising costs.