Parking Authority sees increase in revenue

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The new parking meter pay stations are having a positive financial impact on the Pittsburgh Parking Authority as it prepares to ramp up capital spending next year.

The authority board Thursday approved a 2013 budget that anticipates expenses of about $27.3 million and revenues of about $41.1 million, including a 12.2 percent jump in on-street meter proceeds next year.

Executive director David Onorato said new multispace metering devices -- installed Downtown and in the North Shore, Oakland, Shadyside, the South Side and Uptown so far -- already are boosting revenue.

While the old single-space meters accepted only quarters, the new pay stations take quarters or credit cards. Mr. Onorato said the additional payment option likely means that more drivers are paying for parking instead of risking a ticket.

In all, the authority this year purchased 560 pay stations for more than $7 million. About 350 have been installed so far, with Downtown seeing its first machines this week.

The authority anticipates about $8.8 million in revenue from on-street parking in 2013, up 12.2 percent or about $950,000 from this year.

By far, though, parking garages remain the authority's biggest source of revenue. The authority anticipates $29.4 million in garage revenue next year, up 6.3 percent or about $1.7 million from what was budgeted this year. Mr. Onorato said the increase is partly due to various operating efficiencies.

For the second year in a row, the authority next year will give $2.6 million in subsidies to the city. The city owns about 7,000 on-street parking spaces, but allows the authority to keep the lion's share of the revenue.

The authority anticipates a 2013 operating balance of about $13.8 million, but that does include about $9 million in debt service payments the authority must make next year.

While the authority board also approved a capital budget of about $10.2 million, plans remain in flux.

The authority may team with the Urban Redevelopment Authority to build a new parking garage at the site of the former Saks Fifth Avenue store, Downtown.

City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak has resigned from the five-member authority board. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has not yet named her replacement.

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Joe Smydo: jsmydo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1548.


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