Government, Retail, and Travel & Tourism

Grand Rapids re-evaluates free holiday parking

January 29, 2013
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Parking Commission green lights free holiday parking
Downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via fb.com

Before the next holiday season, Grand Rapids' Parking Services Department plans to review its program that offers 60 minutes of free holiday parking.

Though the program has been well received, it doesn't generate the same return or use by drivers that it did in its initial years, and some Parking Commission members are beginning to question its real value.

When the program began in 2007, 1,310 coupons were redeemed, for a value of $2,284 — and customers using the coupons paid $3,086 for the additional time they spent downtown.

This past holiday season, 986 coupons were redeemed, for a value of $1,873 — and $2,644 was collected from the additional parking time visitors spent downtown.

Usage of the coupons is continuing to rebound, however, since the program’s lowest year.

In 2009, 768 coupons were redeemed, and the city received $1,179 from visitors’ additional parking time.

The Parking Commission is still determining when and how it will conduct the review of the program.

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