Popping into the city will be a lot more convenient in 2015, following the announcement of free 15 minute parking at 8,855 inner city spaces.

Brisbane City Council is investing $1.94 million into the initiative, which will take effect on 1 January 2015.

The announcement follows yesterday’s release of the Parking Taskforce’s review of parking in Brisbane. Free short-term parking was a key recommendation of the Taskforce’s final report.

“Free 15 minute parking in inner city precincts will be a win-win for residents and businesses alike,” said Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, “making it easier for motorists who need to park quickly while helping stimulate economic activity and boost patronage for small businesses.

“Customers will be able to select a 15 minute free transaction when entering their details at parking meters — it’s as simple as that.

“The same rules of one 15 minute free parking transaction per vehicle per day will apply to all 500 parking bays in King George Square and 640 bays in Wickham Terrace.

“This is specifically designed for motorists who are parking for less than 15 minutes. It will help those who need to stop quickly and then continue on, like grabbing bread and milk from the shops or picking something up for the kids.

“We have listened to what the people of Brisbane have told us, we know that around 40 per cent of motorists park for less than 15 minutes in many high-demand areas. This free parking offer will mean a substantial reduction in parking costs for motorists.”

Cr Quirk said the parking spaces are just one of the Parking Taskforce recommendations set to be implemented. Council will also be spending $1.6 million to upgrade its 1,122 electronic parking meters, with new technology due to be switched on by January 1. The upgraded meters will enable Mastercard Paypass and Visa Paywave to be used for payments, speeding up the process.

Council will designate two easily accessible Express Bays in both Wickham Terrace car park and King George Square car park for customers requiring a very short turnaround, to drop off or pick up items or passengers.

“If the express bays are occupied, any unreserved bay can be used to take advantage of 15 minute free parking, provided the customer exits the car park before their 15 minutes have expired.

“Extended disability passenger pick-up and drop-off zones, from two minutes to five minutes, will also start from 1 January.”

Will 15 minutes free parking encourage you to go into the city more often? Let us know in the comments below!