Transportation

Metro Committee Looks At Paid Parking At Some Commuter Lots

Transit officials consider charging a fee at some high-demand lots.

As demand grows for public transportation, Metro is considering charging for parking at some of its park-and-ride lots.

Metro currently charges a fee at two locations. There’s the Fannin South Park and Ride near NRG Stadium. That lot handles commuters headed into the Texas Medical Center.

People also have to pay to use the parking garage at the busy Cypress park and ride off U.S. 290.

In a presentation to Metro’s Capital Projects Committee, revenue analyst Julie Fernandez says they’ve now identified several other lots where paid parking may help to alleviate overcrowding.

The goal is to send some riders to nearby free lots.

Some of the locations identified for paid parking include Missouri City to the southwest, and Townsen north of Beltway 8.

Fernandez says many people who use these lots live outside the Metro service area, and their local governments don’t contribute taxes to help fund Metro’s operations.

And while parking fees could help Metro recoup some of its costs, Fernandez says there’s a potential downside.

“Charging non-service area residents to park could impede Metro’s ability to work with other regional entities.”

And Fernandez says paid parking could also impact Metro’s efforts to get more riders onto buses and trains.

“Revenue that could be gained by charging for parking will be offset by increased costs and potentially by decreased ridership.”

Metro’s full board would have to approve any plan before it would take effect. Right now there’s no target date to impose parking fees.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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