Parking lots had no recession

Over the last year and a half or so, major cities across North America have felt the recession to some extent, at least. However, in some major cities in Canada, specifically public parking lots, have apparently not experienced any recession. I say this because statistics have shown that parking lot prices in Canada’s major cities have not gone down as they should have like all other business. Instead, the prices have continued to increase. There are some legitimate reasons for this, but not all the reasons are completely legitimate.

The legitimate reasons they have for increasing their prices while most other businesses have been forced to drop them are mainly because of supply and demand. Under normal circumstances, the vacant parking spots in these lots would increase as less people are employed during a recession and people go out less as well. In the case of Canada’s large cities however, the population continues to grow due mainly to immigration. At the same time, relatively few new parking lots have been built, partly because of the recession. This creates a scenario whereby the demand grows due to increased population but, supply stalls or grows too slowly. This creates higher prices for a parking spot.

It means that just when you want to go out to get away from the increased stress many people have during tough times, the cost of doing so is now higher than it was before. Overall, the price of going out may be the same because although parking continues to rise, other businesses offer promotions to increase their revenues. Still, during these times, it should be cheaper to go out as this encourages people to do so and thus, begins the economic circle once again.

According to a Canadian Press/Canadian Business article (click here to read it), Calgary is the most expensive place in Canada to park your car. Two of the big reasons for this are the lack of supply and the lack of an adequate alternative in the public transit system. As you would expect, Toronto is the second most expensive city with an average monthly cost of just over $336 per spot.

One of the most annoying parking lots in the city of Toronto is right by the Air Canada Centre. This is the arena where the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs play. During the regular season, the price for parking when a game is about to begin is $25. If you arrive too late, this lot is usually full because these teams generally pack the house. However, when one of these teams makes the playoffs, it seems like the parking lot makes the playoffs as well because the parking price jumps by $5 to $30. This is price gouging since the demand at that lot does not increase and when you are already there, you have to pay whatever they say otherwise you will be late for the game.

This is only one example of price gouging in this industry throughout major cities but there are many of other examples of this unfair practice. Price gouging is an illegitimate reason for the prices of parking to continue to increase. There is not enough enforcement of the laws that prohibit price gouging for this industry. If these laws were properly enforced, this alone would make a decent sized dent in the increase in prices. Someone tell the authorities.