Regulating on-street parking
Consider a shopper or tourist driving downtown and trying to park. Two strategies are usually available: either park at a private off-street facility or search for a cheaper on-street spot. We formalise such a setting and use the model to study optimal government regulation of the on-street parking market. It is shown that the optimal on-street fee equals the marginal cost of off-street supply at the optimal quantity. If the off-street market is supplied under constant returns to scale, this provides a particular simple operational rule: the price on street should match that off street. We also extend the model to consider maximum length of stay restrictions and non-competitive private supply. A numerical model, calibrated to central London, investigates the magnitude of an optimal fee.
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