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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Parking Meter Rate Changes FAQ

When is this going into effect?

  • The new meter rates were approved by City Council last December. They will go into effect on February 1st, 2016.

What area will be affected?

  • The rate changes will be in the Downtown Meter District. The Downtown Meter District includes the Central Business District, South Waterfront and the Pearl District.

How much?

  • Parking will now cost $2 per hour.

Why that amount?

  • This was the rate recommended by the members of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee. Businesses, residents and other representatives of downtown institutions and organizations were represented on the committee.

Will the rates for off street parking also be changing?

  • No. They will remain the same.

Are there plans to change the rates in other districts?

  • No.

When was the last time rates went up?

  • 2009

Why do rates need to change?

  • PBOT uses meter rates to manage the supply of on-street parking. The goal is to ensure that there are always spaces available so people do not have to spend time circling the block looking for parking. Excessive circling adds to traffic congestion and harms the environment.
  • PBOT’s goal is to have on-street parking occupancy rates lower than 85%. Such a rate ensures that spaces will be available for the next customer. A study of downtown parking rates found many areas of downtown that exceeded the critical 85% benchmark. In some areas, parking occupancy tops out above 95%.
  • By adjusting rates, PBOT can increase the supply of on-street parking in Downtown, making it easier for Portlanders to visit and shop in the area. 

Is anything else going to change?

  • Yes. In the coming months, PBOT will also look to adjust the amount of time visitors can park to better reflect customer needs.

What happens to the revenues?

  • Meters are primarily a tool to manage the supply of on-street parking. But of course, they do generate revenue. The first use of this revenue is to maintain and operate Portland’s meter system. Any revenues beyond this will flow into the bureau’s general transportation revenue account where they can be used for repair and safety projects.