ONE of the best things about playing Monopoly is free parking and that now translates to Bendigo.
Local shoppers and regular visitors to Bath Lane are set to benefit from their loyalty with the potential for two-and-a-half hours of free parking with each visit.
Traders from the Bath Lane precinct are spearheading a new initiative called Shop for Longer.
"At the moment you can't get another car in Bath Lane," Eyez on Bath Lane director Neil Purvis said.
"You see people doing blockies looking for a park. So we got this initiative where people who shop at a Bath Lane retailer will get an extra hour's free parking.
"We are encouraging retailers to get their cars out of the street and long-term shoppers to use the multi-storey."
The initiative sees shoppers receive a parking voucher for an hour of free parking in the Edwards Street multi-storey car park after shopping at businesses involved with the promotion.
The vouchers are available from participating businesses that display a Free Parking poster in their shop windows.
Combined with the already free 90 minutes of parking residents get in the multi-storey car park, it means almost three hours of free parking for visits to the Bendigo CBD.
All shoppers will need to do is scan their yellow entry pass and then scan the vouchers at the car park's pay-station before leaving the multi-storey.
Mr Purvis said the Edwards Street multi-storey carpark was usually about 60 per cent occupied.
"If we can get some of the cars (from Bath Lane) into that, it might (free up) a few more car parking spaces," he said.
"This initiative is driven by (the traders). We have a great shopping precinct here and Bath Lane is a great part of Bendigo.
"With council's co-operation, we want to do everything we possibly can to make it work here."
Twenty-four businesses have signed up for the initiative so far.
City of Great Bendigo business development manager Peter Jeffery said any trader could get involved.
"The Bath Lane Traders have stimulated this initiative and we will use the next two months to track and monitor it to see its success," he said.