Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020

‘That’s over the top’: Moncton driver gets $333.50 bill after car towed from downtown parking lot

A Moncton resident is out $333.50 after having to pay to get her car back over the weekend.

Tasha Brooker parked in a private parking lot before taking in a concert in the city’s downtown Saturday night.

Despite the city approving a Vehicle Immobilization By-Law in May, which caps the maximum cost of removing a boot from a car’s tire at $45, towing appears to be the loophole that at least one private company has come up with.

According to the receipt, PSI Parking Solutions charged Brooker with $333.50.

“Put a boot on my car. Give me a parking ticket. I deserved it. I should not have been in that spot, I get that. I deserved a penalty,” said Brooker.

“I would have paid the penalty happily because it was my bad, but that’s over the top.”

The signage that is in place now. Brooker says the Reserved sign wasn’t there Saturday, but was there when she came Sunday.

It was a busy night in the downtown, with UFC Fight Night taking the octagon at the Avenir Centre, and a Dean Brody concert at the Capitol Theatre.

That made for slim pickings when it came to parking.

“[Parking is] tight, it’s tenuous, it’s difficult,” said resident Wayne McKay.

Isabelle LeBlanc, a spokesperson for the city, says she’s aware of multiple complaints against at least one booting company, but says staff haven’t been given the go-ahead to look at the possibilities of capping towing bills.

Brooker had to make the payment that night in order to get her car back, but while she knows she was in the wrong, there’s concern over the cost of the bill.

“What if it had been a single mom with kids?” said Brooker. “How’s she going to get her car back?”

“I think that the next step is probably above ground and below: actually building a parking complex to offset the demand,” said McKay.

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