Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ironic, idiotic or both?

Recently transit proposed a employer subsidized transit pass and suggested the pilot program should be initiated with city hall employees. We, the taxpayers, would pay 40% of the annual pass and city hall employees would pay 60%.

Then I read the article in the SP (Apr.29/10) that reported that 350 free parking permits have been issued to city hall employees. This would be over and above the multitude that get underground or surface parking stalls allocated to them on site. Parking is the biggest expense incurred by downtown workers. The convenience factor is the main reason people drive to work.

Why would any of these employees buy a bus pass, queue up on the corner in the dead of winter to wait for a bus and give up the convenience of having their vehicles at work when the major cost of doing so is eliminated?

Why would transit want to pilot this program with city hall employees knowing so many of them have free parking, compliments of the taxpayer?

Is this a taxable benefit to civic employees?

The downtown BID gets a share of parking meter revenue to be used for downtown improvement. At $2.00 an hour, 8 hours a day, five day s a week, 11 months of the year, times 350 employees translates in excess of $300,000.00 a year. Is the BID compensated for their loss of this shared revenue?

And those of us who foot the bills will circle the downtown in search of a parking meter while scrounging for a toonie to pay the freight.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently you are the idiot. City employees with parking passes have them because the City requires them to use their own personal vehicle for city business. These are not people who routinely work at city hall. So the impression that the 350 people with parking passes all work at city hall is delusional. In fact I would bet money that the majority of the staff with parking passes are people who DON'T work at city hall.

    If I work at Lakewood civic centre or at the Ave P yards, city yards, Saskatoon Light & Power, etc. and have to routinely go to city hall for meeings, either you give me a parking pass or you reimburse me for the cost of parking downtown.

    So your theoretical revenue generated in your example would be coming into city coffers as revenue, and going right back out to reimburse employees for paying for a parking expense that is directly related to the use of their own personal vehicle to conduct city business.

    And since parking meters don't give receipts, parking passes eliminate any chance that an employee could "pad" their expense claim. And eliminates the need for auditors to have to audit hundreds, if not thousands of expense claims every year.

    If I work for Cameco and I have to use my own vehicle to drive from Cameco head office to go downtown for a meeting you can be damn sure my employer is reimbursing me for the cost of parking.


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