What we have here is a shot of an ad on the back of a Calgary Transit bus. It says “Faster. Easier. Cheaper.” and under that is says “Two outta three ain’t bad.” Many Calgary drivers would argue vigorously, but first a little background. The ad is for the Calgary Parking Authority which has eliminated parking meters in all zones they control and have implemented a system called “ParkPlus.” This system requires that the driver pay at a pay station located somewhere nearby, or if they set up an account and link it to their cell phone they can activate and deactivate parking sessions with their cell phone. With this method of payment, money has be deposited in the account in advance. This program has recently been expanded to include all of their surface lots and parking structures.
Parking in downtown Calgary is often reported to be the most expensive in Canada and among the most expensive in North America. As the downtown has been developed, the city has discouraged parking development and encouraged the use of public transit. This has lead to parking being in short supply, and demand has driven up rates. Parking in most of downtown is $5.00 per hour. Parking rates are a hot button issue with drivers that have to park downtown. I suggest the Calgary Parking Authority shouldn’t even go here. By including the word “Cheaper” on this ad they are reminding people of something that they are angry about. “Faster and Easier” doesn’t come close to outweighing the fact that their rates are a long long way from “Cheaper.” Two outta three ain’t nearly good enough.