Thursday, September 27, 2012

Metro Continues to Bleed Parking Revenue

Metro is bleeding between $40,000 and $50,000 a month just on parking meters, a Metro source claims.

The source said the reason is twofold. First, there is not enough enforcement at the lots and second, Metro has tolerated defective meters for the past 10 years and is just now getting around to fixing a problem they've known about for a long time.

"The spent $140,000 within the last few months to fix the old, defective meters," the source said. "You've got two crews working 12-hour shifts seven days a week replacing all the locks in the defective meters. It'll take three to four months to replace them all."

But despite the effort to fix the meters, the source said Metro is "spending good money after bad" because there's little or inconsistent enforcement of parking rules.

"Seventy to 80 percent of those who park in the metered areas just don't pay," the source said. "They know they can get away with it."

Metro parking lot enforcement is a shared obligation between Metro and the jurisdictions. Any revenue generated by parking tickets goes to the jurisdictions, not Metro.

The source lamented that Metro was spending so much money fixing all of the roughly 3,500 meters in the system, saying they're antiquated and that other agencies are using more customer friendly meters that allow credit card payment systems or even payment via smartphone.

"This isn't like the guys who were stealing," the source said. "But it's still a lot of money Metro is losing."

Other items:
Auto load for SmarTrip is now available (WMATA)
Metro launching "Momentum" survey (WaPo)
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