As occurred all over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic presented unforeseen challenges to individuals and businesses in Calgary. During a difficult year for all, the CPA worked to deliver initiatives that would have a tangible impact on Calgarians and local businesses, including collaborating with The City of Calgary to execute a variety of timely parking promotions, introducing a “Local Deals” feature in the MyParking app and implementing a “Pay it Forward” campaign to benefit local charities in the month of December.
Throughout the pandemic, the CPA has worked closely with The City of Calgary to temporarily relax our policies and introduce new initiatives that effectively address the evolving parking needs of Calgarians and support local businesses. As Calgarians entered a changed reality of physical distancing, driving and parking patterns were just a few of the trends we saw altered. Employees started working from home, schools and businesses were shuttered, and families stayed home to stay safe.
As people were urged to stay home to flatten the curve, only venturing out to essential services, the CPA and The City implemented a temporary 30-minute grace period in all on-street ParkPlus zones across Calgary to promote the local economy through more convenient curbside access in support of essential businesses. Following that, we offered 15 minutes of free parking with a registered session to facilitate the increased demand for safe and sanitary curbside pick-up and delivery options. In addition, the CPA began offering discounted evening rates at 3:00pm, three hours earlier than usual, in the majority of our parkades.
We recognized early that circumstances were changing daily, and routine schedules were, temporarily at least, a thing of the past. So, we created brand new products to meet the shifting needs of Calgarians, including the appropriately named Flex Pass that allows parkers to receive 10 weekday daily parking sessions to use at their convenience each month.
To continue to support our local business community and deliver additional value to our customers, the CPA also introduced a new feature on the MyParking app called Local Deals. This feature connects users with exclusive local deals from businesses they know and love. Once customers start a ParkPlus parking session on the CPA’s MyParking app, they have access to a coupon code at a YYC business that can be redeemed for deals, discounts and more. A win-win for parkers and for local businesses!