Austin metered parking rates could reach $5 per hour this year depending on demand

The city announced earlier this week that starting Oct. 14, metered parking rates would increase to $2 per hour, up from the current rates of $1 per hour and $1.20 per hour downtown. However, that may not be the last rate increase drivers see this year.

Depending on demand, metered parking rates could reach as high as $5 per hour in some parts of the city, according to Austin transportation officials. This new market-based approach is an effort to bring supply and demand economics to the city’s parking policy. The strategy has been cited by transportation experts as a best practice to help ease congestion and encourage use of alternative transportation modes.

Mary Vo, spokesperson for the Austin transportation department, said the city would regularly monitor how the pricing impacts the city’s metered spaces, with the goal of always having 15-20% of metered parking spaces available on a block. If there are regularly no empty spaces in a given area, it signals parking might be too cheap considering demand; likewise, if half the block’s spaces are regularly vacant, it signals parking may be too expensive, according to Vo.

The Austin Transportation Department had been eyeing a change like this for some time. Earlier this year, Jason Redfern, the transportation department’s parking enterprise manager, told Community Impact Newspaper the city “needed to do more work” around adequate parking pricing.

Striking that perfect price point is, in part, a mobility effort aimed at easing congestion, Redfern said. National studies cited by Austin transportation officials show roughly 30% of urban congestion is caused by drivers circling the block searching for free or cheap parking. If the city can ensure that 15-20% of spots are regularly open, it would help ease gridlock, according to Redfern.

The city’s fiscal year 2019-20 budget allocated room in its revenue projections for parking rates to fluctuate between $2 and $5, based on the department’s observations of supply and demand. Vo, however, stopped short of calling the change a “dynamic” pricing model because the city intends to monitor and consider changes on a three-month basis in order to adequately alert drivers of coming price changes.

Although the recent rate hike to $2 is a citywide base fee change, Vo said further rate changes will be made to respond to location-based demand, since parking demand fluctuates in different areas of the city.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

The Vortex Theater off Manor Road in Central Austin has been under threat of closure due to skyrocketing real estate prices.
Music, arts communities asked to provide feedback on spending recommendations for $12 million creative space bond

After roughly a year of deliberation, the Austin's Music Commission and Art Commission have drafted criteria for how to spend the money aimed at addressing the city's rapid loss of affordable creative space.

Heart Hospital of Austin on Nov. 21 announced Megan Drake as its new chief operating officer. (Courtesy Heart Hospital of Austin)
Heart Hospital of Austin lands new COO

Heart Hospital of Austin announced Megan Drake as its new chief operating officer.

(Courtesy Larry French/Getty Images for DSW and W Nail Bar)
W Nail Bar is now open in Sunset Valley

A new nail studio has opened in Sunset Valley.

Austin FC will begin play in 2021.
Austin FC continues filling front office positions, brings on former USMNT captain as sporting director

Austin FC announced Nov. 21 it has hired former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna as its first sporting director.

Single-family home sales set a record in October despite a historically low supply. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin home sales hit October record despite all-time low supply

Continued high demand amid low supply belies the housing crisis in Austin and the need for meaningful policy changes, experts said.

Downtown Austin facing northwest
Now in City Council's hands, land code rewrite debate heats up with first vote less than 3 weeks away

Some Austin City Council members are concerned about the speed at which the process is moving.

Austin ISD's new elementary school is being built at the southeast of the intersection of Trissino Drive and Escarpment Boulevard. (Rendering courtesy Austin ISD)
Kiker Principal David Crissy named principal of new Southwest Elementary School

Kiker Elementary School Principal David Crissy has been named the principal of the new Southwest Elementary School.

Local artist Billy “Briks” Jewkes created a mural is on the outside wall at The Collective South Congress over the summer as work on the South Austin development was being completed. (Courtesy The Collective South Austin)
The Collective South Congress finishes build-out as more tenants join development

The Collective South Congress offers warehouse space for a wide range of tenants in South Austin.

Apple's Mac Pro computers are assembled at a manufacturing plant in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Apple)
Apple breaks ground on $1 billion, 3 million-square-foot campus in Northwest Austin; expects to open facility in 2022

Apple announces construction begins on $1 billion, 3 million-square-foot campus in Northwest Austin

Sunset Valley City Council welcomed two new members and thanked two who are retiring from council for their service. From left are: New Council Members Karen Medicus and Wanda Reetz, Council Member Melissa Gonzales, Mayor Rose Cardona, retiring Council Members Ketan Kharod and Marc Bruner, re-elected Council Member Rudi Rosengarten and Council Member Phil Ellett. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sunset Valley welcomes new council members amid city staffing transitions

New Sunset Valley city council members joined the dais Nov. 19, amid a month of city staffing transitions.

A rendering of the proposed Walnut Springs Elementary School.
Architects unveil plans for new Walnut Springs Elementary School facility to Dripping Spring ISD trustees

Representatives from architecture firm Corgan presented plans for a new Walnut Springs Elementary School facility Nov. 18.

A photo of Kyle Landry.
St. David's South Austin Medical Center names Kyle Landry new chief operating officer

Kyle Landry has assumed the COO position at St. David's South Austing Medical Center.

Back to top