Delta won't allow TransLink to introduce pay parking at local park-and-ride lots.
That's what Coun. Robert Campbell had to say about the TransLink board's recent decision to introduce a pay parking policy.
The Oct. 24 board decision means all lots under the transit authority's control would become pay lots, but Campbell noted Delta has no appetite to see it happen here.
"We don't want to see that. We've told them before that's not to going to fly," he said.
"We don't have pay parking elsewhere in the community. We don't have any meters. If we're going to start with something, we're not going to do it ad hoc," Campbell said.
TransLink has 13 park-and-ride facilities across Metro Vancouver, including a 200-stall lot at the Ladner Exchange and a 72-stall lot in Tsawwassen.
Campbell pointed out the Tsawwassen lot is at the South Delta Recreation Centre, where the municipality has an informal agreement with TransLink to allow commuters wanting to take the bus to park there.
He said it's "a non-starter" as far as pay parking there.
Delta also owns the land where the Ladner Exchange and
parking lot are located, leasing the site to TransLink for $51,000 per year.
The transit authority notes six of the region's park-and-rides, including both Delta lots, are free, while the others have a flat charge of $3 daily.
In total, there are 4,700 parking spaces available at park-and-ride lots in the region. Later this year, the 650space Carvolth park-and-ride in Langley will open to support the Highway 1 Rapid Bus service across the Port Mann Bridge.
TransLink said the new policy would include charging a minimum $2 rate at all lots, although the exact pricing for each location wasn't mentioned in either TransLink's draft policy or recently passed policy. The pricing level would depend on a number of factors, including customer demand, the costs of maintenance and operations, and the value and convenience offered by the facility.
Delta engineering director Steven Lan told the Optimist he had been in contact with TransLink regarding the draft policy and conveyed a number of concerns about implementing pay parking in the Ladner civic precinct, including the pressure that would put on street parking and lots at nearby facilities.
It was the same argument used against the introduction of pay parking at Delta Hospital.
A couple of years ago, Delta council passed a bylaw banning pay parking at the hospital, which is not far from the Ladner Exchange. The move was to thwart the Fraser Health Authority from installing parking meters at the hospital lot, however, Lan noted the bylaw only applies to the hospital.
Campbell agreed parking at the Ladner Exchange would have a spillover effect on parking elsewhere in the precinct.
He said if the Ladner Exchange lease doesn't give Delta council the ability to block pay parking, the municipality could introduce another bylaw.
A Delta staff report will be coming to council later this month recommending the lease with TransLink be re-worked in order to ensure parking remains free. Campbell said the lease rate for TransLink would likely be lowered significantly to "a nominal amount."
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