As you may have read by now, Metro staff are proposing a test program that would charge a $2 or $3 parking fee at nine rail stations where there a cumulative 4,753 spaces. The staff presentation on the test program is above.
A few important points:
•The final decision on going forward with the test program is up to the Metro Board of Directors. The Board will receive a presentation this month and then are scheduled to vote whether to go forward with it in March.
•Why is Metro proposing a fee? One major goal is to better manage demand so that the lots don’t fill early each weekday and then stay filled with no spaces for anyone else. Another goal is to raise revenue to help pay for maintenance and security at the lots.
•Staff believes that the fee is low enough to keep overall commuting costs low for those who want/need to drive to transit. At the same time, staff believes that any fee will persuade some people to get to stations by other means — transit, walking, biking, drop-off.
•Interesting stat: Metro looked at four stations — Culver City, Atlantic, North Hollywood and Universal — and that the vast majority of riders reached those stations either via transit or walk/bike/drop-off. See page six of the above presentation.
•The other big goal of the program is to discourage non-transit users from parking in Metro lots. This will ultimately be done by charging those motorists a fee much higher than the going rate in surrounding neighborhoods — thereby discouraging them from using Metro lots.
•Attendants at the parking lots will have handheld TAP card readers to verify which patrons used Metro transit versus those who did not.
•The following stations are proposed to be in the test program:
Sierra Madre Villa (Pasadena) on the Gold Line, $2
Atlantic (East L.A.) on the Gold Line, $2
North Hollywood on the Red Line, $3
Universal on the Red Line, $3
Culver City on the Expo Line, $2
La Cienega/Jefferson (Los Angeles) on the Expo Line, $2
Expo/Bundy (West L.A.) on the Expo Line extension (opening this year), $2
Expo/Sepulveda (West L.A.) on the Expo Line extension, $2
17th Street/SMC (Santa Monica) on the Expo Line extension, $2
•Finally, to emphasize: this is “test” program that comprises less than 25 percent of the overall parking spaces available at Metro stations. Metro staff wants to see how the program impacts ridership, available spaces at the station and revenues before making any kind of future parking fee proposals. More details will be available next month when the Board considers the test program.