NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- There's a 'bonus' starting Tuesday night for folks who come to many of the restaurants in downtown New Haven.
They won't have to dig into their pocket to pay for parking thanks to a new program.
When Bill Alberino and his friends go out for dinner in downtown New Haven...
"Usually I try to find the cheapest possible place to park if I can," said Alberino."Parking is a hassle, it really is."
To take the hassle out of going out, the city of New Haven and downtown restaurants started a free parking program.
During dinner hours, park in the Temple Street or Crown Street parking garages. Dine at one of the sixteen participating restaurants. Get your parking pass validated and you won't have to pay to park.
The city hopes this will get more people to stay downtown beyond their 9 to 5.
"We hope to make up on volume what we may lose on an individual transaction. And again, our bottom line is to help these businesses. If we help these businesses survive, we help the tax base in this city and that helps the city too," said David Panagore, Interim Executive Director of Park New Haven.
The elm city and participating businesses will split the cost. Money well spent, says the owner of Temple Grill.
"We're hoping that it's going to become an advertising cost and if you look at it that way, sharing in the cost to bring people in, that's always helpful," said Chris Candido.
"I think if people are aware that this is being offered, people will do that," said Alberino.
The program will run through the new year. But if things go well, it could be here to stay.
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