Parking prices in Reykjavík have gone up by 200% since the start of the new year, Vísir reports.
Karl Sigurðsson, chair of Reykjavík’s Department of Environment and Transportation told Vísir that the decision to raise prices was made last September.
In November however, the City Council decided against raising prices on all city services at the start of 2014. These services include things like the cost of day care, school lunches, library cards and entrance to swimming pools.
When the decision was made not to raise the cost of city services however they forgot to discuss the increase in parking fees, Sigurðsson said.
“We overlooked including the [parking fee] price increase in that round of talks and I take full responsibility as the chair of Environment and Transportation. We should have gone over it better at the council meeting.”
Sigurðsson did say that despite this an increase in parking fees is long overdue. The cost of short term parking has not gone up since 2000 and has not been tied to inflation in those 14 years. In that time however, the costs of other city services have increased and the expense of running and maintaining parking houses in the city has also gone up.
“The parking houses have been running at a loss for years” said Kolbrún Jónatansdóttir, director of the Reykjavík Parking Service in an interview with Vísir, “We have tried to raise the cost of parking a few times but have never gotten approval in the past. We are also in competition with other parking houses but Harpa and Höfðatorg are charging considerably higher prices.
The fees are simply too low and in reality need to be raised. It seems this is an incredibly sensitive issue for our society today.”
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