05/09/2014 04:18 EDT | Updated 07/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Vancouver teachers, staff to pay for parking, says district

Teachers and staff will have to pay for parking at Vancouver schools this September, as part of a plan to help the district cover its $11 million budget shortfall.

The district is expecting raise about $225,000 per year by charging about $10 to $15 per month for 3,500 spots.

Spokesperson Kurt Heinrich says they are hoping this will also encourage more staff to take bikes or transit to work, rather than drive.

But he is aware that some teachers may instead choose to search for free parking elsewhere in the neighbourhood to beat the cost.

"Our facility staff are going to work with city planning to make sure there are no snarls and bottlenecks. At the end of the day, $10 to $15 dollars is quite nominal."

Heinrich says students won't have to pay to park, for now.  

"At this time students aren't using a lot of the lots. At this time the real focus of the program is on our employees, teachers, support staff and administrators."

There will also likely be a few visitor spaces saved at each school, he said.