Parking in Amsterdam: one company, one effective system

Parking in Amsterdam: one company, one effective system

There were 14 city districts and a different parking policy in each of them. Such was the reality for drivers in Amsterdam before 2010, when the city decided to change this expensive, confusing and inefficient system. The original 14 districts were combined into seven and the city has established a private company CITION, responsible for the management of parking, charging of parking fees, maintenance of parking areas, as well as for the overall control of parking in the city.

Amsterdam drivers, who want to park their cars in public spaces (streets), have to consider the parking fees. This situation favors local inhabitants with permanent residence in the area, who can park their cars on the streets for free. They can do so, after purchasing a so called residential card, for which they have to pay from 24 to 400 EUR per year. For companies, the price for parking permit ranges between 40 to 645 EUR per year. The amount of the parking fee depends on the location. The closer to the city centre residents and companies want to park their cars, the more they have to pay.

Parking zones and fees in Amsterdam

Inhabitants without permanent residence in the city or visitors from other cities can park on public spaces only for a fee. The hourly rate ranges from 1.10 EUR to 5 EUR in the city centre. In the vicinity of shopping centers, parking is cheaper and costs only 10 cents.

Parking fees can be paid in several ways. CITION company noticed an increase in the share of electronic payments – via SMS or Internet. The number of parking machines has also dropped from 3700 (in 2010) to 2200.

CITION manages up to 150 000 public parking spaces. The collection of fees for parking on public places is checked regularly by the city Municipality. In optimal situation, 97% of all cars should pay a parking fee. If the share is less, CITION has to pay a fine to the city. If the share is higher than 97%, the company receives a bonus. The amount of fines and bonuses is specified in the contract with the Municipality. With this setting, the company has a strong interest in careful checking of compliance with the parking regulations.

CITION employees inspect the parking spaces mostly by walking around them, but they also have 5 cars with cameras available for the control of resident cards or for the collection of fees. These cameras scan license plates using an automatic recognition technology, so the patrols can immediately assess whether the vehicle is parked legally. The company is very active and effective in the control of parking. The city threatens to fine the company in case of neglected collection of parking fees.

Most of the company’s income (68%) is obtained by the collection of parking fees. The rest comes from fines for incorrect parking (13%) and from the issuing of residential cards (18%).

70% of the total revenue is redistributed between different city districts. The rest goes to the urban mobility fund for the development of transport infrastructure.

Zdroje:,, International Seminar held on 6 May 2013, organized by Energy Centre Bratislava in cooperation with the Municipality of Bratislava, under the UNDP / GEF project “Sustainable mobility in the city of in Bratislava”