VICTORIA – The City of Victoria and CUPE Local 50 have announced that starting January 1, new Parking Ambassadors will be moved to an in-house model.
The in-house model is intended to give the City greater ability to offer a parking experience consistent with customer service objectives and stakeholder needs, while still regulating parking to ensure there is high turnover of parking spaces downtown.
Parking ambassadors will be unionized staff, represented by CUPE Local 50. They will participate in a comprehensive customer service training program, in cooperation with downtown businesses. Timed with the new Ambassadors, the Parking Review Office will also move into City Hall, making it easier for customers to pay their tickets, or have tickets reviewed.
John Burrows, President CUPE Local 50, said that a collaborative process had led to a good outcome. “CUPE members take pride in our work and look forward to improving and better integrating these important services. We are very pleased at the cooperative approach we have been able to establish with our new Mayor Lisa Helps and the City Manager Jason Johnson,” said Burrows.
In June 2014, Victoria City Council endorsed a series of recommendations regarding parking services, including directing staff to develop an in-house business plan for providing parking enforcement services. In September, a number of changes were made to on-street and parkade rates, as well as the customer service experience.
Since making the rate changes and customer service improvements, early results indicate overall perceptions about parking in downtown Victoria appear to be improving.
Parking data suggests these efforts have had a positive effect on parking behaviour and customer experience, with fewer tickets written and fewer customer complaints/concerns about parking.