The “Ethics” of passing along your P and D ticket…

About a month ago I started a discussion on PT”s Discussion group on Linkedin. Basically I wanted to find out what people thought about giving your ticket (when it still had time on it) to someone as you left a P and D lot.  Most of the comments were from the UK — basically discussing the enforcement issues and taking gentle sides. You should go to the discussion and read them.  Most are very thoughtful.

Of course the two extreme opposite ends of the conversation would be Yanks who both happen to be friends of mine. To wit:

Craig Bagdon • Ethics? Hell, we advise our clients to print that the ticket is non-transferable on the the P&D ticket and issue citations accordingly. It is a particular problem in college and bar neighborhoods and oftentimes “giving your ticket” is not the problem that resale is. A decent handheld enforcement system should be able to tie ticket numbers to license plate numbers to enforce this type of thing… and yes, that was a shameless product plug :-)

And

Clyde Wilson • I can not even count the number of times I have given my unused time to someone just arriving in the parking area as I was leaving. In the parking business we sell parking space for time for a published price. I bought two hours I get two hours if I want to share it is my two hours to share. The only ethical problem is that some cities think it is ok to stop me from using the time I paid them for. In my opinion the ethical issue is not on the customers actions but on the actions of the rule maker. Customers are not there for us to figure out how to take advantage of them.

I love the comment from France:

Gilles PERET • When you take advantage of public space for your private interest, it sounds normal to individually pay for it.
But what is the purpose of paid parking ?
In France the local authorities just aim to put limits or rules so that everybody is likely to get an access to the public spaces ?
P&D are installed to measure time and ensure that the public area will be shared.
Very few administrations admit that parking is a source of income.

So once someone has paid for one parking time, people will find normal that he can share this “right” with someone else.

Would it be legal or even ethic to try to sell the same thing many times, to different people ?
What could justify this ? Any example in other fields ?

And my response:

John Van Horn • Gilles — First, France isn’t alone. Many municipalities don’t like to admit that parking is a money maker, but we know better, right? Now for the other issue — A number of things we buy are non-transferable (airplane tickets, rail pass, underground ticket, pass for a toll road) and the philosophy is the same. If I buy a ticket on the underground, why shouldn’t I be able to give it to someone else when I’m not using it. The reason is that the authority who issued the pass set the price based on a number of different people purchasing the ability to ride the train, often many more than they have space for. The parking lot is the same. The owner sets his rates based on ‘oversell.’ He assumes that he will sell more space than is used and that some will not use all the time they bought. Therefore this isn’t necessarily an “ethics” conversation, but a business one — however, once the owner calls the ticket non transferable, then the situation becomes ethical.

You should sign up for our group on Linkedin. Frankly, its much more highbrow than the parking discussion you see here.

JVH

 

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