Why are parking rates being increased?
There are a few reasons to increase parking rates. The costs to run the public parking system continually increase despite significant efforts to contain costs. Parking enhancements are being made to improve the customer experience. In the past few years this has included doubling the number of epark stations that make it possible to use credit cards at the meters, and adding a new stair and two high speed elevators to the Fourth & William garage. The DDA also recently upgraded its epark app, and is absorbing the user fee rather than pass this along to patrons. Additionally, the DDA will be undertaking an expansion of the Ann Ashley parking structure to provide additional parking spaces for downtown visitors, customers, clients, employees, and residents.
What are the strategies behind this set of rate changes?
The approach schedules small annual rate changes; in the past rate changes were less predictable. Over time this multi-year plan is intended to lessen the cost difference between paying to park in the garages by the hour versus paying to park using a monthly permit. Also, it is intended that over time the cost to park in the garages versus parking on the street at a meter will become even more attractive, as the rate in the parking structures will remain at $1.20 an hour.
Why present multiple years of rate changes at once?
By presenting rate changes as a 4-year plan, it will make it easier for parking system users to plan for these changes.
When were the last times parking rates were increased?
2012: Structure, surface lots, and meter hourly rates were increased by $0.10/hr and permit rates were increased by $5/month.
2015: Surface lot and meter hourly rates were increased by $0.10/hr; standard monthly rate increased by $10/mo, and premium monthly rates increased by $25/mo. Structure hourly rate stayed the same.
How is the public parking system funded?
Nearly every cost associated with the Ann Arbor public parking system is paid for by parking patrons who pay to park at a parking meter, in a public lot, or in a structure. These revenues are used by the DDA to operate the parking facilities, pay for structure and lot repairs and on-going maintenance, and most parking structure debt service costs. In addition, 20% of parking revenues are provided to the City which helps enable it to provide for services for residents.