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Posted on: April 22, 2021

New Parking Pilot Program


Durham Announces New Parking Pilot Program for Free Daytime Parking in Downtown Garages

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causes continued financial challenges for many downtown businesses and their employees, the City of Durham is piloting a program to provide financial relief for those who work in downtown businesses and may be overly burdened by daytime parking fees.

The Transportation Department is debuting its Downtown Employee Daytime Parking Assistance Pilot Program. For up to three months, 80 eligible downtown workers will receive free daytime parking in one of the City’s five parking garages.

The goal of this program is to help downtown workers hit hardest by the pandemic. Downtown workers, many employed in the restaurant and hospitality industry, have been hit particularly hard by the financial impact of COVID-19. These workers often have to pay for daytime parking which can add up, particularly during hard times.

The pilot program, which will take place beginning on Monday, May 3 and ending on Friday, July 30, is for employees who work downtown, and struggle to afford daytime parking for work. This pilot program will be available on a first come, first-serve basis. To be eligible for the pilot program, individuals must meet all of the eligibility requirements:  be employed by a downtown Durham business; and within the past six months have met one of the following income requirements:

  • Receiving government benefits such as food stamps, WIC, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, unemployment insurance, or COVID emergency relief for a financial hardship
  • Children are eligible for free or reduced lunch
  • Living in a Durham Housing Authority property, eligible for Section 8 housing, or qualify for property tax assistance
  • Experiencing homelessness
  • Income at or below 200% of the current federal poverty level, which is an annual income of $25,520 for a household size of one. 

To apply, downtown workers who meet these eligibility requirements are encouraged to complete their application online beginning on Friday, April 23 at 8 a.m. or in-person at the Park Durham Customer Service Center, located at 105 W. Morgan St. Suite 104. The Center is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The pilot program is being funded with grant funds from Durham’s participation in the PolicyLink Cities & Counties for Fines and Fees Justice Program. A cohort, including Durham and nine other cities and counties from across the country, examined how to decrease the financial burden fines and fees place on low-income residents and communities of color. In addition to piloting parking relief programs, the City’s Transportation Department is also exploring ability-to-pay models for parking fines and other fees.

 apply-now-button-png Opens in new windowTo apply, complete the application online or in-person (105 W. Morgan St. Suite 104, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) and submit proof of eligibility (e.g., proof of income, residency, and employment at an eligible Downtown business). 

About the City of Durham Transportation Department

The Transportation Department remains steadfast in its commitment to providing and maintaining quality, multimodal infrastructure to improve mobility, promote environmental sustainability, and enhance the quality of life for current and future Durham residents, businesses, and visitors. To learn more, follow the department on Twitter.

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