The Tucson city council approved a proposal by Parkwise on Tuesday to immediately raise the weekend rates for the Pennington parking garage downtown. Currently the weekend flat rate is $3.00, but starting February 1st, the rate will go up to $5.00. All other city garages already have a $5.00 flat rate.
The head of Parkwise says the increase is necessary to help the department make ends meet. Administrator Donovan Durband says the department faces a $100,000 deficit. He says meters that were taken out of commission during streetcar funding caused a dip in revenue.
Durband made another proposal. He has asked the council to approve a parking meter rate hike. Most meters charge $0.50 an hour. Durband will be asking the council to increase the rate to $1.00 an hour, which is the same cost of parking in a garage for an hour. He says the goal is to encourage long-term parking in garages and make metered parking more available to short-term downtown visitors.
Parkwise will now research how much revenue a meter increase would generate, and then bring its findings to the city council. If all goes as planned, Durband expects to see a metered parking increase take effect around July.
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