Free Saturday on-street parking returns to downtown Kelowna next month

Free parking, transit returns

For a 29th straight year on-street parking will be free in downtown Kelowna for all five Saturdays during December.

The initiative, at the request of the Downtown Kelowna Association as a way to attract people during the busy Christmas shopping season, was rubber stamped by city council earlier this year.

The complimentary on-street parking only pertains to the first two hours. Parking enforcement will still be patrolling the downtown area and tickets will be issued to those who stay beyond the regular two-hour limit.

The city has also endorsed free transit each Saturday in December to complement the parking initiative.

Service on the Kelowna Regional Transit system will be free only for those trips that start and end in Kelowna.

This will include both conventional and custom handyDART service.

"Providing complimentary transit is viewed to expand this support and encourage travel by other means other than private car while providing an opportunity for people to experience transit who may not otherwise have considered doing so," said transit manager Mike Kittmer.

Council had inquired about restricting free transit to the downtown area only but was told it would not technically be possible.

It's expected these initiatives will mean a loss of about $40,000 in parking revenue and about $25,000 in transit revenue.

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