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Free parking for EV owners to end in Cincinnati-owned spaces

A charging station for an electric vehicle in a parking lot.
Bill Rinehart
One of a handful of charging stations in the parking lot near Sawyer Point.

The city of Cincinnati will end the program that let owners of electric vehicles park for free at meters and in city-owned garages with a permit. It was started in 2008 to encourage the use of EVs to reduce emissions in the city.

A memo from the city manager says that goal has been achieved. Sheryl Long writes, "The program started slowly but has since grown to over 2,000 registered EVs. This expansion reflects the mass-market adoption of EVs — a trend that is projected to accelerate with the strengthened federal incentives for EV buyers — as well as drastic changes in Cincinnati's population trends over the last decade."

Long says that population growth means higher demand for on-street parking.

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She says other cities have seen similar trends, and the sustainable transportation landscape has changed to include "boosted investment in regional public transit systems, pedestrian safety efforts, and bike networks."

The memo says the city will instead focus on expanding charging infrastructure.

Applications will not be accepted or approved as of April 15. That's when permit holders will be informed about the end.

The free parking will end July 1.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.