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News Release: Support a small business and earn free parking with Parking Kitty this holiday season

News article

It’s the meowest wonderful time of the year!

Published

(Dec. 1, 2020) Supporting small businesses and holiday shopping just got easier thanks to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) special Parking Kitty promotion in Portland’s parking districts. When Portlanders spend $25 or more at a participating business, they can receive a Parking Kitty voucher for up to 2 hours of free, on-street parking.

Front side of the Parking Kitty holiday voucher

Parking Kitty, Portland’s official mobile parking app, allows you to pay for parking directly from your phone. Don’t spend extra time in the rain paying at the meter; use Parking Kitty to pay and you’re on your way. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the benefit of this safe, no-touch option are even greater than ever. Customers with vouchers can apply the discount to their current active Parking Kitty session or use it toward future ones. Pounce on this deal! This promotion runs from Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021. Vouchers are valid until Jan. 31, 2021.

Find out which businesses are open by visiting ShopSmallPDX.com - a new website created by Prosper Portland, the city's economic development agency. This new site promotes events and small businesses open throughout the city, making it easy for people to be intentional about where they spend their money this holiday season. While you’re at it, visit pdxsos.com and take the #PortlandPledge to buy all your holiday gifts at small and local businesses. With so many wonderful local businesses to choose from, you’ll be able to buy the purrrfect present for everyone on your list.

Supporting small businesses and travel options during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Parking Kitty holiday promotion is the latest in a series of initiatives by PBOT to support small businesses and travel in Portland during the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2020, the bureau rolled out the Safe Streets Initiative which included the Healthy Businesses program to provide space for businesses to operate outdoors in the right-of-way. The initiative also includes the Slow Streets program which converted Portland’s 100-mile neighborhood greenway network into “local access only” to create more space for Portlanders of all ages to get fresh air, move, and play during the Covid-19 public health crisis. This fall, over 175 Portlanders participated in Go By Greenways which encouraged people to explore East Portland’s newest neighborhood greenways in exchange for prizes from local businesses.

In April and May, the bureau provided BIKETOWN rides at one cent per minute. In September staff conducted outreach with businesses in the expanded East Portland BIKETOWN service area with free rides to businesses to let them try the system. In partnership with Prosper Portland, this month BIKETOWN will be offering additional discounts in support of small businesses as well as for community members who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Like BIKETOWN, PBOT partnered with the e-scooter company Spin in April and May to reduce the cost of riding e-scooters by 50%. This resulted in a 46% increase in overall ridership and a 136% increase in ridership in East Portland.

More recently, in October, e-scooter company Lime implemented new pricing to encourage ridership in East Portland, reducing the cost for all trips that start in East Portland to $0.15/min. Meanwhile, Lime’s access rate for people living on lower incomes is $0.50 to unlock and $0.07/minute to ride anywhere in the city. In November, Spin reduced the price of riding in East Portland by 50% and offered East Portland riders $5.00 in ride credits. These travel options continue to offer Portlanders opportunities to move about the city and patronize small businesses during the pandemic.

What is a parking district?
Portland currently has four primary parking districts, in Downtown, Northwest Portland, the Central Eastside, and Lloyd District. A parking district is an area, typically near a commercial district, where PBOT manages on-street parking to increase turnover, improve traffic circulation, promote the use of alternative travel options, and more. In busy commercial districts, access to local businesses is vital. Time limits and a cost to park help prevent long-term parking, encourage healthy turnover, and allow more visitors to come and go. Each parking district is tailored to the needs of the neighborhood, in partnership with the community and PBOT. Want to learn more about parking districts? Contact PBOT at PBOTparkingcontrol@portlandoregon.gov

Learn more about the City of Portland’s Covid-19 response at https://www.portland.gov/novel-coronavirus-covid-19. For public health information and guidance, resources, and updates regarding Covid-19 from Multnomah County visit https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19.