South Hills Village parking garage tackles vacancies

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Port Authority still has plenty of unused spaces at its South Hills Village parking garage.

Authority chief counsel Michael Cetra told a board committee on Thursday that the average weekday occupancy is 892 vehicles, or about 41 percent of the garage's 2,200-space capacity.

That may change if the authority completes negotiations with a developer of a proposed $41.5 million apartment complex on a former surface lot adjacent to the garage.

The developer, Massaro Dawson, could take 250 or more spaces in the structure, he said.

Another boost to garage patronage is possible next year, when the authority is expected to temporarily close the 500-space Castle Shannon park-n-ride for development of an apartment-retail complex that is to be built over the lot.

Because most of the other free park-n-ride lots along the Light Rail Transit system already fill to capacity early in the morning rush hour, the authority will recommend that Castle Shannon patrons use the garage.

But that is a costly proposition, because those customers would not only face a $2 daily (or $22 monthly) parking fee, their T trips would originate in Zone 2, with a $3.75 one-way fare, instead of Zone 1, which costs $2.50.

The $24 million garage opened in 2005. It was financed mostly with federal and state grants and carries no debt. It generated about $496,000 in the last fiscal year from parking fees and transit passes sold there, Mr. Cetra said.

The authority's Performance Oversight Committee voted to recommend extension of a contract for management, operation and maintenance of the garage. Parkway Parking of Pennsylvania would get a one-year extension valued at $180,000 if the proposal is approved by the full board next week.

Jon Schmitz: or 412-263-1868. Visit the PG's transportation blog, The Roundabout, at Twitter: @pgtraffic.

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