Paying more to park in Center City

January 23, 2009 4:13:35 PM PST
The charge for using a parking meter went up 100% this past week in Center City Philadelphia, and they'll be going up again this summer.That means, unless you're using a Smart Card, you'll need a roll of quarters to park at a meter for any length of time.

The price doubled from one dollar per hour to two dollars.

That rate hike may pump more money into the city, but officials add the increase is part of a plan to ease congestion by getting people to change their habits.

"If your going to be in the city all day, we don't want you on the street at short-term meters," said Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler. "We want you in a garage, or we want you to decide you're going to come in on public transit."

Parking enforcement officers are on the front lines of the increase, and they're getting an earful.

One supervisor who spoke to Action News did not want her named used.

"Some will say 'get a real job. This is a real job, I like what I do," she said.

The fines for parking tickets, approved by city council, have also gone up to $36.

Drivers are not happy.

"This is very rare for me to come in town in a car, usually I take the bus because I can't afford the parking," said Anita Smith of North Philadelphia. "I think its just terrible."

"I think it's really insane, especially since a lot of people are losing their jobs. I think it's unfair," said Elton Dos Santos of Northeast Philadelphia.

This is not the end of increases for Center City meters. They'll jump up to three dollars per hour this July.

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