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Regulating Urban Parking Space: the Choice between Meter Fees and Time Restrictions

  • Edward Calthrop
  • Stef Proost

On-street urban parking spaces are typically regulated by either a meter fee or a time restriction. This paper shows that, when the off-street parking market is perfectly competitive, meter fees are more efficient than time restrictions. When on-street parking is free, albeit subject to a time restriction, too many drivers choose to engage in socially wasteful searching for on-street spaces. In contrast, with a meter fee, the relative benefit of parking on-street is reduced, and total search can be minimised. A linear meter fee structure is shown to be optimal. A simple policy prescription is also proposed. Set on-street meter fees equal to off-street parking fees. Finally, a simple numerical model calibrated to central London suggests that the use of optimal meter fees increases parking welfare vy around 5% over an optimal time restriction.

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Paper provided by KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number ces0021.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0021
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