Parking meter, Airport rates to rise - Philadelphia News

July 25, 2008 3:40:29 PM PDT
Prepare to pay up, if you park on Philadelphia streets, or at Philadelphia International Airport. You'll soon have to fork over a little more green because prices are set to go up.

There are over 9,000 parking meters in the Center City, University City areas and in the next couple months it's likely the cost for using them will go up.

Sure, it will raise money for the city, but that's not the primary reason.

It's a familiar part of the center city landscape: cars backing up, while others wait for a parking space at a coveted $1 per hour meter.

In many cases, motorists will circle a block multiple times until one opens up.

"If you're down here in the morning you got to ride around three or four times before you find a spot," said Vernice Coleman of South Philadelphia.

A study shows that the cheap meters actually contribute to traffic congestion.

Deputy Mayor for Transportation Rina Cutler says the time might be right to increase meter rates, and coax drivers to use parking garages.

She even suggests garages lower their rates.

"Because the price of on street meters is so inexpensive and the price of parking in garages was so expensive but that was helping contribute to the problem of congestion in Center City," Cutler said.

This driver says raising meter rates might make sense.

"Nobody wants to hear that prices are going up but at the same time the parking garages are a lot more and these are a good bargain. So that's why you probably saw that I circled around a couple of times," said Chris Woodson of Deptford, N.J.

While increases aren't expected before the end of the year, starting next Friday, parking rates at Philadelphia International Airport will go up between one and three dollars.

For example, the economy lot rate will rise from $9 to $11 for 24 hours.

In the garage, 24-hour stay will increase from $17 to $20.

While 3 hours in the short term area will cost $15, up from $13.

"It's not like you go to the airport every day, so a couple of extra dollars really isn't that big a deal," said Scott Greer of South Philadelphia.

Cutler says PHL rates have always been below most other major airports, and even with the hike, they are in line, or even less.

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