Rochester is expanding the free parking program initiated during the pandemic.
Through the end of the year, all parking less than two hours in public ramps will be free in an effort to encourage visits to downtown.
Previously, the city waived the parking fee if patrons were in and out of the ramp in less than an hour. By increasing the limit to two hours, the city is encouraging downtown visitors to make an extra stop and visit a retailer, restaurant, or entertainment establishment.
“There is so much to do in downtown Rochester,” said Ia Xiong, Rochester’s transit and parking systems manager. “We are giving visitors a chance to stay a little longer and give a downtown business a try while still taking advantage of free short-term parking in the ramps.”
The program was developed after business owners expressed the need for help in stimulating activity after such a long period of COVID-19 restrictions.
Besides parking ramps, there are metered parking spots and surface lots in downtown Rochester.
In the ramps, those who stay downtown longer than two hours will have to pay for that time, in addition to the first two hours.