In light of the opening of the Expo line and the very real possibility that many commuters may need somewhere to park their cars before boarding the train, Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to up the parking prices at a range of parking lots across the City, with the Civic Center lot hit the hardest.
The current daily maximum parking rate at the Civic Center is $5. Under the new resolution, daily rates will jump to $14. The move is geared to discourage park-and-ride Expo users, enabling current Santa Monica City, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) and downtown workers to have some parking spots available. The $5 maximum will remain on weekends.
The Council sent direction to City Staff to negotiate special pricing rates with SMMUSD, under the proviso that the District employs car-cutting transportation measures. Special rates may also be offered to business owners for their employees.
On average, transient parking rates will increase by 25 percent across the city and monthly rates will jump by 10 percent. The revised transient rates will be effective June 11, 2016. The current 90 minutes free at Parking Structures 1 through 9 and Ken Edwards Center as well as 30 minutes free at Civic, will remain.
According to the City; “The Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) provides policy guidance for parking management…‘Use parking pricing as a tool to manage congestion’. The LUCE suggests managing parking in Santa Monica as the limited resource it is and ensuring that adequate parking is available for residents, employees, and visitors. It sets a target threshold of 15 percent parking availability at all times and provides various strategies to employ in achieving this target.”
Major changes to monthly parking passes were approved and will come into effect January 1, 2017, with passes set to be ‘parking structure specific’ and available only to Downtown and Civic Center employers, employees and residents of buildings without on-site parking.
For the Civic Center, the current $65 per month all access pass will jump to $97.50 Jan.1, 2017 and $160 July 1, 2017. The current weeknights and weekends only pass which is now $50, will hit $75 a month Jan. 1.
Parking Structure 10 and Downtown Lots 27-30 will see monthly weekday only rates rise from $120 to $132, with weeknights and weekends jump from $75 to $82.50. Parking Structures 1 through 9 and Ken Edwards Center will see all access passes up by 10 percent overall.
“While the full impact of Expo operations on public parking in the Downtown and Civic Center areas remains to be seen, these measures will address current conditions and forestall daily park and ride activity. Staff plans to monitor parking occupancies over the course of the first year of service to inform a study and broader policy discussion at that time,” the City said.