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The 20 cent increase at parking meters will also help close Portland Bureau of Transportation budget gap.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF PORTLAND - Portland parking meter rates increased 20 cents an hour on July 1.Portland drivers using metered spots or the Parking Kitty app will pay higher fees across the city starting on Friday.

On July 1, the Portland Bureau of Transportation add a "climate and equitable mobility fee," which increases rates at city meters by 20 cents.

According to the city, it is meant to "send a price signal" to drivers about harmful effects of driving, like emissions and congestion, and "help drivers consider the impact of their transportation choices."

The increase was approved by the City Council in late February as a way to both cover a revenue hole for PBOT and advance an agenda prioritizing its climate and equity goals. Officials say PBOT saw a large drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequently had to make repeated cuts to service.

"Cuts will likely continue unless revenue stabilizes," a city document outlining the fee reads.

Officials say the extra money generated from the fee will go toward making transportation more affordable through services like its program that gives low-income households transit credits.

The goal, officials say, is to make rates more affordable ahead of future rate increases. But low-income drivers are not exempt or discounted from the increased fee at metered spots, according to the city's document.

Rates are scheduled to increase again by 40 cents per hour in July 2023 "to adjust for inflationary increases," the city council said in its resolution approving the increases. The city expects that to raise $24 million in gross revenue.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.

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