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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Parking Fees Hiked, Hot Lines Opened

Drivers were handed a mixed blessing Monday when the city nearly quadrupled the cost of parking in central Moscow but in reality reduced the real tariff by more than half.

City Hall raised prices at municipal parking lots within the Garden Ring from a fixed hourly rate of 11 rubles to 40 rubles (about $0.40 to $1.40).

However, as Moscow drivers know, the official rates were on paper only and many parking attendants had been demanding 100 rubles per hour.

To help make sure that the new official rate is observed, the monthly salaries of parking attendants more than tripled from about 2,500 rubles to 9,000 rubles, said Vladimir Klyushin, the first deputy director of the State Service for Paid Parking, which runs all city-controlled parking spaces. Attendants also must wear identification and a notice about the new tariffs on their green vests.

Klyushin's service has set up a telephone hot line, 609-2993, that drivers can call to report unscrupulous parking attendants. "Take his number from the badge and report it to us," said a spokeswoman for the hot line who refused to give her name. Drivers who complain also need to provide the exact address of the parking spot, she said.

The city police's organized crime department has also set up a hot line, 950-4474, for complaints about parking attendants. Police raided several parking areas last week in what appeared to be an effort to show parking attendants that they were serious about enforcing the rules, which came into force Monday.

The hike was the first since 1997. Also Monday, the price for parking at municipal lots between the Garden Ring and the Third Ring Road went up from 10 rubles to 30 rubles, while the price from the Third Ring Road to the city limits went up from 9 rubles to 25 rubles.

The State Service for Paid Parking has been operating the city's parking spots since 1997. It has 103 parking areas with 4,713 spots in the city. Nearly three-quarters of those spots are in the center.

Monday's changes are only the start, said Leonid Lipsits, a senior city transportation official. Parking attendants will be replaced by the fall to get rid of anyone used to overcharging, he said.