Miami parking price hike plan hits a stumbling block
Written by John Charles Robbins on October 9, 2018
City commissioners are prepared to OK hefty Miami parking rate hikes today (10/11), but the jump won’t impact city residents – though parking officials still must figure out how to do that.
Miami Parking Authority staff prepared the proposed changes, which the Off-Street Parking Board approved July 30. Commissioners approved them Sept. 13 on first reading, but only if city residents were excluded from the hikes. A final vote due Sept. 27 was deferred.
Scott Simpson, authority chief financial officer, updated the parking board on the status Oct. 3. He said the city commission’s approval of the authority’s 2018-19 budget was “relatively painless,” but its insistence on removing city residents from the rate hike has slowed the process and created operational challenges.
“They have to use PayByPhone in order to do that,” Mr. Simpson said of residents getting a discount on the new rates. PayByPhone is a mobile online application that the vast majority of parking customers in the city use – 87% of all authority parking transactions last month were PayByPhone.
The problem is there remain a number of coin parking meters and parking lots that have Pay by Plate machines, which mechanically don’t recognize city residents, so a discount couldn’t be used, Mr. Simpson said. “We are working on how to deal with that.”
Rates have stood unchanged nearly 10 years.
For most on-street parking spaces, the rate would rise from $1.75 an hour to $3. Many monthly permits would jump from $70 to $90. There are exceptions. For example, a monthly Design District parking permit would rise from $75 to $110.
The higher parking rates will help fund increased operating costs as the parking agency plans to beef up its enforcement ranks.
Authority CEO Art Noriega has said the parking rate increases would take effect in the second quarter of the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.