MONTREAL -- Montreal's downtown Ville-Marie borough is introducing new variable rates for parking permits.

Starting April 1, vehicles with a larger engine capacity will have to pay more for their parking vignettes than small or electric cars:

  • 1.6 L or less and electric vehicles: $100
  • 1.7 L to 2.4 L: $150
  • 2.5 L to 3.4 L: $200
  • 3.5 L and more: $250

The borough notes there will be a reduced price for people who have a lower income.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante insists the change is necessary because the borough's parking rates have not been reviewed since 1989.

“We have to revise it to meet the current needs of residents, better reflect the value of our public spaces and promote our target of a 55 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases," she said. "Ville-Marie is an exceptional place that attracts a growing number of commuters, which means less available spaces for residents."

The number of parking stickers will be limited to one per person, and two per residence. The price for obtaining a second sticker will be $350.

"Considering that the annual cost of maintaining a parking space by the City of Montreal varies between $800 and $1,300, the user's contribution will remain below the actual cost paid by taxpayers," the borough notes.

The mayor's office insists the emphasis is still to encourage Montrealers to use alternative transport, such as public transit, cycling, car-sharing, self-service vehicles and taxis to reduce the number of cars in the city.

"We will continue our efforts to plant new trees, create green alleys, reduce heat islands, calm traffic, improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, add terraces and sidewalks and improve quality of life in the city," Plante stated.

According to the Ville-Marie borough, the number of people looking for a parking space each day accounts for 30 per cent of traffic.