Parking in downtown London could soon get a lot pricier.

A downtown parking study commissioned by city hall found monthly parking rates in municipal lots may need to rise to encourage construction of more parking garages and to create a financial motivation to ride the bus.

The study determined that the average monthly parking rate in downtown London is below many comparable Canadian cities.

London's municipal lots average only $80 dollars per month, $1 less than the $81 price tag for a London Transit Commision (LTC) bus pass.

The report suggests "an increase in the monthly parking rates may be needed to shift more people to transit."

City hall is finalizing a plan for a rapid transit system to connect the four corners of the city to the downtown.

Some estimates put the cost as high as $500 million.

An increase in public transit ridership would justify that investment and people who work downtown are an crucial target market.

But many drivers using the low-cost municipal lots say public transit can't meet their needs, so a rate hike would only dig deeper into their pockets.

"The amount that we put into our pension every month, that's what we are paying for parking. So we are working to park,' says Debbie Gandon, a monthly parking pass holder.

The study is going to the Civic Works Committee next week and will be incorporated into an overall downtown parking strategy in 2016.