A round of parking rate increases will hit commuters and visitors to Downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland, Shadyside and the North Shore starting today.
All-day rates at several Pittsburgh Parking Authority lots and garages increased by as much as $4.25. Hourly rates for shorter-term parking also went up, as did rates at lots and garages controlled by the Pittsburgh Stadium Authority.
Mayor Bill Peduto said he supported the increases, which were approved by the parking authority and stadium authority boards in June.
“They are below-market rates and still less than private lot operators are charging,” he said Thursday. “It’s also the first increase in a decade.”
The fee for Monongahela Wharf parking went up $1, to $9; the rate for the Second Avenue Parking Plaza rose by $2, to $8. All-day rates at these garages also increased: First Avenue Garage up $2.25, to $11; the Wood-Allies, Fort Duquesne-Sixth and Ninth and Penn garages up $2.25, to $12; Third Avenue Garage up $3.25, to $16; Oliver Garage up $4.25, to $17; and the Mellon Square and Smithfield-Liberty garages up $4.25, to $18.
Night and weekend flat rates increased $1 at the Ninth and Penn Garage, to $6; and $2 at the Fort Duquesne-Sixth facility, to $7. Other authority garages Downtown retained the $5 flat evening-weekend rate.
Hourly rates for shorter-term parking at the garages rose proportionately, the authority said. Garage leases also increased, generally by $25 to $45 per month.
The long-term rate at the Shadyside Garage rose by $1, to $10, and at the Forbes-Semple Garage in Oakland, by $2, to $11. Leases at both facilities rose by $20 per month. Leases at 15 of 34 surface lots in the city will go up $30, and the others will see no change.
All-day parking at the West General Robinson Street Garage and North Shore surface lots 1, 2, 4, 5A and 7A through 7J was increased by $1, to $7 for the lots and $8 for the garage.
Pirates fans will see the game-day rate at the garage and lots jump by $3, to $15. For Pitt football games, it will rise by $5, to $20. Pre-sold spots in the garage for Pirates games were increased by a range of $40 to $82, depending on the package.
Weekend and night rates at the stadium lots were raised $2, to $7. There were no increases announced for Steelers games. Rates for concerts at Heinz Field or PNC Park are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Parking authority Executive Director David Onorato said the last increase at the agency’s facilities was in 2004. In a statement issued after the June vote, he said the increases were based on “a detailed analysis of the capital funds necessary to maintain our system; of the cost of available technology upgrades to increase its operational efficiency; and of our capacity to continue to meet the revenue-to-debt coverage ratios required by our bond covenants.”
Some of the additional revenue will go to city government, as recommended by the city’s Act 47 financial overseers, he said.
Mary Conturo, executive director of the stadium authority, said rates at some of the facilities hadn’t increased since 2006, and others last were raised in 2010 or 2012.
The increases were expected to generate $450,000 a year to help pay debt and to support a new garage on the North Shore as development eats up spaces in the lots.
Merrill Stabile, president of Alco Parking, the largest private operator in the city, said the increases at public lots won’t affect his company’s rates, adding, “We’re already charging what the market will bear.”
He said the parking authority needed to raise its “artificially low” prices to fund repairs to aging garages and to generate more income for the city.
“I applaud their move,” Mr. Stabile said. Although he expects demand for Downtown parking to remain strong, he said the city’s increases might cause some commuters to consider alternatives to driving.
To view the new rates, scroll below or click here.
Jon Schmitz: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1868. Twitter: @pgtraffic. Visit The Roundabout, the Post-Gazette's transportation blog, at www.post-gazette.com/roundabout. First Published July 31, 2014 11:40 AM