Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has introduced a US$0.20 “climate fee” on drivers using the city’s metered street parking spaces to help fund more sustainable transportation options.
PBOT anticipates the scheme will collect US$2 million in revenue annually, some of which will directly support the Transportation Wallet: Access for All programme, as well as other projects that reduce carbon emissions and prioritise equitable outcomes while reducing traffic demand.
The fee is collected through parking meters and the bureau’s Parking Kitty mobile app, and sends an initial price signal about the costs of parking.
“Portlanders are happy to see PBOT taking steps towards making our city more climate-friendly,” a spokesperson for PBOT told capitaltribunenews.com.
“So far we have had minimal pushback from drivers – the majority of feedback has been primarily positive.
“Our parking meters are located primarily in Portland’s central city and based on an analysis of on-street meter transactions from 2019 to 2021, we found that most on-street parkers come to the central city very infrequently.
“In 2019-2021, roughly 50 percent of vehicles only parked on-street in the central city once in a year [and] approximately 85 percent of transactions are from ‘infrequent parkers’ who park on-street ten days or less per year.
“As such, the overall financial impact to drivers will likely be very limited for most people, with about 85 percent of people parking paying an extra US$2 or less per year to cover this fee.”
In 2019, PBOT launched its Universal Basic Mobility programme, known as the Transportation Wallet for Affordable Housing.
The two-phase pilot programme offered 485 free transportation wallets for people living in partner affordable housing sites.
Due to the success of the pilot and expected funding from the new parking fee, the programme is expanding to the Transportation Wallet: Access for All scheme, set to launch in spring 2023.
The scheme will offer more wallets and a mobile and web-based app, which it says will allow users to more precisely track their credits and redeem them.
Additional user data will also provide planners with information to better tailor the programme to customers’ needs and deliver more targeted outreach to drive engagement.
Image: Jesse James (Flickr)
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