OKLAHOMA CITY - The rates are going up at several downtown parking garages in an attempt to raise revenue and improve the city's parking structures.
Beginning this month:
- The "Additional Hour" charged in the parking garages will increase from $1 to $2
- The Event Parking rate will increase from $8 to $10
- Monthly Contract Parking rates will increase by $10 at the Santa Fe Garage and by $5 at the Century Center and Cox Garage
Rates at the Arts District and Sheridan Walker Garages will remain the same. Maximum daily rates will remain at $10.
"We are far underpriced in comparison to other states and other cities," said Parking Services Manager Cory Hubert. "But then again every city is different. Every market is different. That's why we try to align ourselves better with the local Oklahoma City market."
Oklahoma City leaders studied similarly-sized cities across the nation to come up with its new prices, which Hubert says are still affordable, especially compared to private parking companies that have lots downtown.
The city is trying to raise money to improve its structures, Hubert said, which it can only do by raising its rates.
"We're self-sufficient," he said. "We have an overall health of the system to look at."
The city estimates the increases will garner $600,000, which officials plan to put toward paying off past projects and planning future projects.
Many of the city's garages are decades old, Hubert said, and need improvements to lighting, accessibility and drainage.
"It's more along the lines of a matter of keeping the public safe and secure," he said.
Will Rogers World Airport is also raising rates so it can renovate its existing lots and carry out plans for a new surface lot.
Hubert would not rule out future increases, saying the city will follow the market's lead.