All the cheapskates will. Why pay to park at the first station when the very next one, just a mile or two away, is free?Originally Posted by DallasMichael
Paid parking a step closer as DART committee approves pilot project
Thoughts? I understand DART wanting to raise revenue but if it drives customers away, no pun intended, then it may have the reverse effect.A Dallas Area Rapid Transit committee voted unanimously Tuesday to begin charging some patrons to park at two of its most popular stations. DART customers who do not live within the agency's 13-city service area will have to pay $2 per day, or $40 monthly, to park at Parker Road Station at the north end of the Red Line and at North Carrollton / Frankford Station on the Green Line. If approved in two weeks by the full DART board, and it seems certain that it will be, the pilot program will take effect once DART selects a private company to develop and run the experiment, most likely sometime late this year. Many details won't be known until the private firm is selected, but DART customers likely will be asked to show proof of residence to buy decal that will be good for the duration of the project. That decal will determine how much, if any, customers will have to pay to park. Residents of member cities will be able to park for free, unless they want to pay $30 for reserved parking spots closer to the station. Those who live outside the service area will have to pay to park. Rates will begin at $2 daily for regular parking, or $4 during special events like the annual Texas-OU football game. A monthly pass will be available for $40, and reserved parking will be sold to residents of non-member cities for $60 per month. In addition, residents of non-member cities will have to pay $5 per day for long-term parking.
I do like the idea of having some reserved spaces that DART can lease out. That way if someone is a regular user and they want a guaranteed spot they can have it. I would hope the revenue raised can be used to build parking garages instead of simply lots, but those also cost money.
Although it is just the two termini stations on the green and red line I would wonder how many drivers would make the short drive to the Trinity Mills or Downtown Carrollton to park.
Last edited by DallasMichael; 12 July 2011 at 07:32 PM.
All the cheapskates will. Why pay to park at the first station when the very next one, just a mile or two away, is free?Originally Posted by DallasMichael
I usually park at Frankford but will now be driving down to Trinity Mills. It's not that I'm cheap, but that it's my protest for this stupid policy. I may not live in a member city, but when I do ride DART, I still pay for a ticket AND I also buy things in Dallas or elsewhere in the DART service area. That means the sales taxes I pay go toward DART. What's next? Will we have to pay a fee to enter Oklahoma since we aren't taxpayers there?
Maybe this could spur non-member cities to join DART. If there is enough irritation in Coppell, Allen, etc it could spur potential referendums on whether or not to join DART.
Isn't Grapevine a member city in The T? I don't think DART should penalize people who live in cities which are members in The T or DCTA, these cities aren't part of the problem, they are putting money into public transit.
I suspect that whatever money Dart does make from the parking fee probably won't even cover the cost of hiring a private company to implement, operate and enforce this new parking system.
If the pilot program is successful I could see this implemented at many other stations system-wide.Originally Posted by electricron
I kinda think this is a bad idea, not because it seems like bad public relations, but because it might not be fair. DART funding comes from sales tax, right? but the agency does not collect the tax only from member city residents, anyone spending within member city jurisdiction pays into DART. Is that how it works?
You are completely right. When people drive from non-member cities to DART stations to go to work or into the area for any reason any money they spend on anything in the member area is going to have a small percentage of it go to DART. Like I previously stated, I think this could serve as a way to get nearby northern suburbs to join (rejoin) DART like in the case of Coppell. Coppell borders Carrollton and Irving and is eligible to rejoin DART.Originally Posted by tamtagon
Glass Half Full scenario: Coppell residents get frustrated at paid parking, vote to rejoin DART get bus service and no longer have to pay for parking and potentially down the line get Cotton Belt service.
Glass Half Empty scenario: Coppell residents get frustrated at paid parking, decide not to ride DART, not pay for parking, stay a non-member city and cost DART revenue.
Sorry both of my hypothetical scenarios involve Coppell residents getting frustrated, but I would be to.
What per cent of Coppell voters use DART? Miniscule. Chance of convincing 49.2% of fellow voters to give up their tax dollars to join DART - zero.
Not that I disagree with you, but the problem with your argument is that we all pay the same for a ticket (member and non-member) and the ticket price does not cover the full cost of providing the service (which is subsidized by member cities).Originally Posted by saxman66
In that case, wouldn't DART want non-member residents not riding at all, saving room for their member residents and costing less to operate the system?Originally Posted by lakewoodhobo
Maybe if parking is free, then the cost of a ticket becomes flexible and based on the miles ridden.
How does the deal work between Arlington & Grand Prairie and the TRE? Doesn't TRE have a way to extrapolate how many people from those non-member cities use the commuter train and send a bill to the municipalities?
If non-DART area residents use the transportation service, the agency should be allowed to claim 100% funding source compliance, though. Money will end up as the crux of the issue for most people, as MJBlazin points out, but that's simply the topical snag. The most important, and critical need is for all communities to participate in the transportation infrastructure of the region. "I will cut off my hand before I cut another fingernail."
It's an experiment -- thank god DART is trying something.
I think, if nothing else, the reserved spaces and long-term parking fees are likely to prove good ideas. Once the train goes to DFW, I'd happily cough up a few bucks to stay parked at a DART station while I'm out of town for a few days. And if I were a morning/evening train commuter, I'd absolutely pay for a premium location to get to and from the train quicker and more easily.
As far as the out-of-system fees... I do think that issue is going to prove a pain in the ass for everyone parking at the station. As a resident of a member city, I'd be pissed to have to jump through hoops to get a parking decal.
DART should take the Starbucks/EasyJet model -- keep those basic tickets cheap, and then offer more expensive options or add ons for those that are willing to pay for them. Reserved/Long-term parking is a first step; maybe air-conditioned waiting areas, restrooms, or something even more out of the box is the next step.
Times weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it.
Overall very few people use DART, just look at the declining ridership numbers. However, more might if they access to service.Originally Posted by mjblazin
Parking lot operators will not like it, but maybe this is one user fee component of the Cotton Belt & TEX (SW2NE) commuter line which will help cover long term operating costs.Originally Posted by msutton
Im not sure how I feel about this yet, but it amazes me that since you are paying for a ticket for MASS TRANSIT you simply assume that you should park your 3000 lb suburban for free.
In San Francisco, Chicago or other cities, riders do not expect to park their cars for free, period.
If Dart chooses to offer this EXTRA service for free to their member cities then thats fine.
Using that same argument; I should pay less for my ticket if I walk to a station and dont use real estate 10 hrs daily for my gas guzzler (or Prius for that matter)
Stupid idea from an agency whose marketing department is full of stupid ideas.
DART has already determined that 5% of its ridership is from non-member residents. This program, even when fully implemented will rake in a grand total of $1 million dollars or so. For that $1 million, after they pay for all the equipment required to charge for parking, which will cost in the several millions for 55 stations, they are going to drive down their awful ridership numbers even further, and lose some amount in sales tax revenue.
It's a stupid idea, basically a weak attempt to placate the city of Plano. And the only strategy that I'm aware DART is implementing to increase revenue. 80% of their revenue comes from sales tax, but apparently they think they are better off going after 1/20th of the 20% they get from fare.
Geniuses over there running DART, I tell you.
I agree with the above comments 100%
furthermore for those saying something is being "subsidized" for others that "are not paying"........you damn sure got that right.....like the billions in federal tax dollars that were paid by people that will never set foot in dallas for this BS.....or the millions and probably more in state dollars
I thought the "idea" was to cut down on pollution, burn less foreign oil, WHAT ABOUT THE POOR.......WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE POOR!!!!!!!!......what if someone is POOR and works in dallas, but lives in another area because of the schools.....or what if they lived there before GEORGE BUSH MADE THEM POOR and now they are STRUGGLING DAILY TO MAKE IT AND THEIR 35 YEAR OLD CAR WILL PROBABLY NOT EVEN MAKE IT ANOTHER MILE DOWN THE ROAD BECAUSE IT OVERHEATS!!!!
THEY CAN NOT AFFORD THIS......THERE ARE RICH PEOPLE IN dALLAS THAT COULD PAY MORE OF THEIR FAIR SHARE......WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE BIG COMPANIES ALL OVER dALLAS!!!!!
THESE PEOPLE ARE PROBABLY TAKING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BECAUSE THEY ARE poor AND NOW IT WILL NO LONGER BE AFFORDABLE.....THEY MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO GET TO WORK......40 DOLLARS MAY NOT BE A LOT TO RICH POLITICIANS BUT TO A POOR PERSON IT IS
oh yea there are probably what 500 people in each of these cities that ride the train sometimes and so there is not a chance in hell that thousands of others are going to vote for higher taxes for something they don't use (because they hate THE POOR and want to see them pay 40 dollars more of course)
also can everyone please get over the idea that dallas is the center of the universe much less the metromess.....again huge numbers of people that live in suburban areas also WORK in suburban areas so thinking that they are stupid, lacking in vision, naive, selfish, against the poor, dats raysis, or sitting around just waiting for an excuse to jump in and help be a part of a poorly managed mess that is designed to go places most of them are not regularly going to is just plain stupid
so yes this idea will fail.....the only real question is what corrupt piece of contemptible dallas political trash will hold a share of the company that wins the right to implement this stupidity and how often will that company fail to live up to the contract and how many times will DART get screwed because of that and how much will that cost
I know I brought this up before, however I think it merits repeating. This is completely unfair to people who live in The T and DCTA Member cities. Why should someone who lives in Fort Worth or Denton have to pay extra when they are already in a city which is working on public transportation solutions?
I do really like the idea of reserved parking, and if DART wants to charge more for a resident of a non-member city for a reserved spot I see no problem with that either. This way people who use those busy stations regularly can have a guaranteed spot.
I have always been cynical about calling customer support about issues related to that company. I always had this feeling of them logging my suggestion/opinion/etc and clicking the delete button at the end of the day, but this merits a call to DART. Maybe enough will have them drop the majority of this suggestion.
I hesitate to ever suggest (and I'm not suggesting now either that) transit agencies ever get involved with paid parking, however, the precedent is in motion nationwide, to varying degrees (and probably varying degrees of measurable success). From WMATA to MBTA to BART to CMTA to. . . well, you get the idea.
Plans differ all over, but, revolve around central themes such as at least reserved spots at all stations within systems that have parking lots to others keeping nearby office-workers from free-loading off transit lots they aren't using for transit and so on; even with plans varying by station, varying not to compete with nearby airport parking, varying for this and that, hourly or daily, paid bike lockers, etcetera. . . Some are careful to mention that biking and walking to stations are free, in the case of biking as long as you don't use the paid bike locker.
Granted, some of the larger agencies that have applied the paid parking tactics have decades of rail service over DART and are in much more dense service areas and have higher rail ridership than DART, they do provide data points that DART seems interested in applying locally, for various reasons that are agreeable to highly disagreeable to all locals regardless of member city status. . .
The other thing that is free with your ticket is the bus. Use the system the way it was designed. If you don't move to a home within walking distance as I did, then use the feeder buses as I do when I am really lazy. For those people beyond the range of the bus, you have option to find shopping center/other big lot that lies on a feeder bus line. For the person complaining about the poor of Collin County that could not afford the parking fee or the gas to drive to next station, my reply is those people have already figured this one.Originally Posted by CTroyMathis
We are making way too big a deal on this one. If DART did not care about the 20,000 of us shivering on those platforms in Feb, it and no one else will care that someone has to spring a few more bucks to park.
Well the parking program is going to begin next month
Has anyone got their parking pass yet if they drive to the North Carrollton/Frankford or Parker Road stations? It would be neat to see a picture of one
I tried to go to the Parker Rd station Saturday to get a parking pass but no DART personel were anywhere to be found.
Dallas Business Journal
DART parking fees for non-member cities start in April
by Matt Joyce, Staff Writer
Monday, March 19, 2012
Dallas Area Rapid Transit soon will start charging a parking fee for customers who don’t live in agency member cities.
The parking fee takes effect April 2 and applies to the Parker Road and North Carrollton/Frankford stations.
Customers from DART member cities must apply for a parking permit sticker with DART’s contractor – Platinum Parking – to avoid parking fees.
The DART member cities are Addison, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Irving, Plano, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park.
Customers who live outside of DART's service area will be required to pay a daily fee of $2 or a monthly parking fee of $40.
DART officials say the program is intended to provide fair parking access for residents of member cities, which pay most of the agency’s budget from a 1-cent sales tax.
“As DART's rail system continues to expand parking space has at times been limited at specific locations,” DART said in a news release. “Establishing paid parking helps the agency meet the demand that riders outside DART's service area have placed on the rail system while rewarding other residents for their city’s commitment to DART.”
So much for my attempts using public transit with DART. After the way I was treated by multiple DART employees at Akard today I will never use DART again. Amazing; in 24 hours they went from having someone who would have gone door-to-door to get out the vote to keep Plano as a member city if another referendum occurs to someone who will now go door-to-door to help Plano no longer be a member city if another referendum occurs.
Good job DART! Amazing, wonderful job!
The only reason I'm on the fence with this is because DART is a flat fee for the service and does not charge by the mile.
The sticker is there so DART police will not give you a ticket, not to give you a special service. Premium does not care why you want the sticker. They are just there to make sure you pay, and the number on your sticker matches your car plate. That way, you cannot use the sticker on multiple cars or hand it off to your friends. You could be from Bolivia or Oak Cliff for all they care.Originally Posted by electricron
I assume DART will use one of those scanners that automatically checks large numbers of plates. When it gets a hit, out of zone registration, the officer checks for the sticker. Ideally, you might even have it auto print the ticket with all details. Probably can move through even a large lot very quickly. Is not technology great!
I'm putting the over/under at April 5 that we'll be seeing Morgan Lyons on the news having to explain away some faux pas related to the paid parking program.
I suppose I could have looked more closely at the Platinum site before posting. DART has indeed handed it over completely to Platinum.
Q. How does Platinum Parking plan to enforce the paid parking program?
A. Platinum Parking will patrol the parking lots at Parker Road Station
and North Carrollton/Frankford Station during rail service hours. Vehicles
must have a resident parking permit sticker, a monthly parking pass, a
reserved parking pass or be parked in the stall number that the vehicle
owner entered into the pay station. Any vehicle failing to meet these
criteria will be considered in violation. Violators will be ticketed and
assessed a fee of up to $50 per violation.
Q. What happens when I receive a parking violation?
A. Platinum Parking is responsible for enforcing the paid parking
Q. Who do I contact if I get towed or receive a parking violation?
A. Platinum Parking. DART does not have any involvement with towing
or parking violations.
* Driver's license
* U.S. Passport
* Proof of homeowner's insurance
* Mortgage or rent statement
* Property tax statement
* Current utility bill
* Certified school record or transcript
Vehicle ownership verification:
* Vehicle registration
* Proof of vehicle insurance
* Vehicle inspection receipt
* Vehicle title
* Vehicle bill of sale
Ready or not tomorrow's the day the paid parking begins. It would be nice to hear anecdotal reports of how much parking is used.
I'm extremely curious how a U.S. Passport qualifies as a proof of residency. The only "address" in mine is the state of birth.
Two+ weeks in, any reports or opinions?
Interesting little blurb in an article about Garland's complaints to DART about Mesquite's commuter bus.
"DART this month started charging those who live outside its service area parking lot fees of $2 a day or $40 a month at northernmost rail stations. Thomas said about 840 people pay to park."
Assuming that everyone of those 840 people pay for a full month, which is doubtful, but let's say so for arugment's sake, that is 840 X 40 X 12= 403K. That is not even half of what I predicted earlier in this thread about 4-5 months ago. $403,000. Not even 1/10th of 1% of their operating budget. And then subtract out the costs to pay the company who runs the service, plus the startup costs. And then subtract out whatever percentage of their ridership that decided to stop taking DART altogether due to the parking fees.
Did they even break even on this project this year? Probably not. And they will be lucky to make 200K in profit a year going forward.
The amount of bad publicity alone cost them more than $200K. Again speaks to the business decisions DART makes over and over. They shoot themselves in the foot to make a limited amount of dollars instead of concentrating on business development, brand marketing, developing market share, and improving customer service. You know, the kind of thing most successful businesses do?
Belt Line Station will also include paid parking when it opens later this year... and overnight parking for DFW Airport visitors.
DART’s paid parking to expand to Irving’s Belt Line Station; in-area residents will pay $7 for overnight parking for airport
By Michael Lindenberger
10:34 am on June 26, 2012
Belt Line patrons will pay the same short-term rates as are charged at the other two stations — $2 per day or $40 per month. But long-term parking rates will likely be higher. DART expects heavy demand for the shuttle between the new lot and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, and as a result wants to charge more.
The agency will call a public hearing to have input on the new fees but the proposed rates will be $7 per day for those who live in the member cities and $9 per day for those who do not. Remote parking at the airport, its cheapest on-premises option, is $8 per day, and also includes a shuttle directly to the terminal.
The Cotton Belt briefing posted today had a little tidbit on the paid parking ripple effect. In March 2012, the parking occupancy at the Bush Turnpike Station was 67%. In May after the paid parking was implemented at the northern stations, the parking occupancy was 97%. With a parking supply of 1,193 spaces, that's roughly 350 people changing their paths.
"Ultimately, helmet laws save a few brains but destroy many hearts."
- T.J. DeMarco
Because those 350 riders have been chased away from the Parker Road Station to Bush Turnpike Station, it effects the amount of parking available at Bush Turnpike for any future Cotton Belt Station. Maybe enough to determine not to reroute the Cotton Belt to Bush Turnpike. If that were to occur, that would effect Richardson much more than whatever DART will ever receive from these parking fees.
And in an absolutely shocking development, the paid-parking program has netted DART exactly negative $88,000. So in return for flat ridership and negative publicity, DART has made exactly zero dollars. That right there is what they call return on investment. Earlier in this thread I was railing against this stupid plan, and was being overly generous in my estimation that they would net maybe $500K in return for their troubles. But in fact, they are losing money, and are still losing money even in September, months after the stupid program started.
And what do the geniuses at DART want to do? Expand the program so that they can lose even more money and piss off even more riders. The only reason ridership didn't go down instead of stay flat, is because they just moved to the next station. But if DART starts charging two and three stations down the line, people will stop riding. And all for exactly zero dollars. It is flippin' genius I tell you. If I've said it once, I've said it one hundred times. DART is great at building lines, but they are horrible at running a business. They prove it again and again.
How much money would DART make from its “experiment” in paid parking at the northern ends of its Red and Green rail lines? And how many customers would this effort chase back onto the freeways? If these were your questions, the answers might surprise you six months in. Ridership is flat, but instead of turning a profit, the program is actually losing money so far — or, more accurately, expenses are outpacing revenues by $88,602 through the end of September. And the only way to fix that, apparently, is to expand the program to more lots. Imagine my surprise.
The numbers are found in a status report that Todd Plesko, DART’s vice president for planning and development, prepared for DART board members (link below). Dubbed Fair Share Parking, the pay-to-park plan is designed to ensure that train riders from non-DART cities – which do not charge the 1 percent sales tax DART cities do — pay a bonus tax to fund the transit system, above and beyond the actual fares. Paid parking went online for the Parker Road (Red Line) and North Carrollton-Frankford Road (Green Line) stations in April. The Northwest Plano Park & Ride was added in July, and the Belt Line Station (Orange Line) is approved for Dec. 3, 2012.
As to ridership, a constant concern for your local editorial board as DART’s numbers remain stagnant, it’s no-harm, no-foul. DART officials had braced themselves to lose as much as 5 percent in ridership, but so far Red Line (north to Plano) numbers are up 0.8 percent and the Green Line (north to Carrollton) is down 0.3 percent. Given the way DART guesstimates its count today, that’s effectively flat. Instead of asking DART to prove the negative that it could have gained riders over these six months, it’s probably more accurate to assume these two light-rail lines gained as many riders as they lost.
Platinum Parking, the vendor DART hired to manage its paid parking, predicted as much as $1 million a year in revenue, which seemed wildly overstated. DART’s own estimates were far more modest with a lot of wiggle room: $56,000 to $500,000 in the first year. Instead, paid parking revenue has been constant in the $30,000s (a high of $39,033 in September and low of $30,099 in July). However, expenses and management fees have exceeded revenue in each of these first six months. The problem, if you support paid parking (which I do not), is that instead of chasing customers away, the $2 daily fee simply caused a lot of train riders to shift to the next good lot south, Trinity Mills Station on the Green Line or George Bush Turnpike Station on the Red.
As an aside, this is what I did as soon as DART announced the plan. I had been parking at North Carollton but quickly discovered that Trinity Mills was barely a couple of minutes farther from Flower Mound and, in fact, a better lot if walking far isn’t your thing. Before April, Trinity Mills’ lot usually was about two-thirds full on a workday. Today, if you don’t arrive before 8:15 a.m. most days, you are out of luck and have to park across the street at an abandoned home decor store. That’s the effect on one rider from a non-DART city. But extrapolate that over many riders doing roughly the same thing on both train lines, and you see the issue for DART. The calculation is that it’s worth $2 a day (or maybe $40-ish a month) to drive a little farther.
The other obvious unintended effect is to screw up the Trinity Mills and George Bush lots for DART-member-city riders who already parked there. Remember the stated goal of the paid-parking experiment: It’s about fairness. Fares only represent 15% of DART’s total operating budget, most of which comes from the 1-cent sales tax that citizens in the service area pay to DART each time they make a purchase. The cities in the service area made a commitment when they voted to be a part of DART, and with the paid parking program, DART is ensuring that it honors its commitment to them. How fair, then, is it to shift vehicles from one lot to another, leaving northernmost lots artificially empty and the next lots south artificially full? DART’s own analysis finds DART-member-city customers displeased with the effects south of the paid lots.
From Plesko’s analysis, it appears DART is not unhappy with Platinum’s management of paid parking. The vendor has worked with DART to reduce expenses significantly, which mostly explains why September was the closest-to-break-even month at minus-$1,509. And by contract, Platinum eats the loss. According to Plesko, “Platinum collects all of the revenue and must pay for all expenses from the revenue collected. DART receives revenue only if Platinum covers its costs and its fixed fee. If revenue is insufficient to cover Platinum’s costs, Platinum must absorb any losses, not DART. However, until Platinum offsets its costs, DART will not receive any parking revenue.” From Plesko’s status report: “Despite reductions [to expenses], it is unlikely that the program will be able to break even without changes in the program.”
For riders who shifted to free lots, this is the bad news. DART is considering further cost reductions, but the only real way to push this program into the black is to “expand to nearby lots to capture more non-resident customers who have shifted.” Like me. In Plesko’s analysis, charging to park at Trinity Mills, George Bush and Arapaho, along with the stations already in the plan, could increase revenue to the point that the program would go into positive numbers by July 2013. A cynic, of course, would call this doubling down on a bad idea.
Last edited by Alex Rodriguez; 29 October 2012 at 10:36 AM.
It does seem Platinum is getting its management worked out so they are close to breaking even. Or maybe they need to fail and the next vendor can do a better job. I wouldn't mind expanding the paid parking to all DART lots, people need to understand that that space costs money.
The dangerous part is the quote on page 16 of that DART report discussing expanding the paid parking:
We don't know how the board reacted to this but it should be stomped out ruthlessly. That would be using DART resources to benefit the vendor. Existing DART staff should be busy doing their current jobs, why are they on the payroll now if they can take significant time to do the parking management as well?Reduce costs by using existing DART staff at Parker Road and Arapaho to register residents for Plano and Richardson
I'd also like to hear about the audit procedures to ensure the taxpayers are getting a fair deal from the vendor. It would be fairly easy for the vendor to increase costs, especially labor, to ensure that DART gets just enough profit to keep the contract active.
Because right now their ridership hasn't been hurt for the very reason specified in the report: The non-residents just moved to the next station. But if you turn the next 2 stations into paid parking, 2 things will happen. 1) On the Red Line, many riders will simply stop commuting via DART. 2) On the Green Line, many people will simply pay DCTA $160 a month, and then take up a spot on the DART trains for "free." Or stop riding. So either way, it's a money loser for DART.
There are a myriad better ways to generate income, to increase ridership, and boost your bottom line, all with positive reflection on your organization. The paid parking is just a fiasco, and why DART would in their right minds force this on the rest of their stations, just a perfect demonstration of how not to success in business.
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