Bay Area’s New Transit Station Reopens Parking Debate

By Rachel Dovey : nextcity – excerpt

It’s a classic indicator of success in California, a sign that when you built it they did indeed come (in cars). It’s the giant parking lot — whether football field-sized or rising in a multi-storied garage — and while it’s so often bestowed on retail centers, sports arenas and even churches, the question of whether it should accompany popular transit hubs is still a sticking point among many city planners.

In the East Bay city of Antioch, however, soaring ridership numbers may force consensus…

The transit agency now plans to add 700 parking spaces on another lot it owns close to the station. But if the lots continue to be packed, and commuters’ parked cars continue to line neighborhood streets, BART may reopen what the Chronicle calls a “long-standing debate … over whether building more parking is the best way to promote the use of public transit.”

“Wouldn’t it be better to divert people off the roads and onto transit rather than have them continue driving to the urban core?” Keller said, according to the paper… (more)

Build parking and people will park and ride.

$40M in funding approved to ease Bay Bridge commute

Caltrain to raise fares, parking fees

By Examiner Staff : sfexaminer – excerpt

Caltrain fares and parking prices at stations will soon rise.

Earlier this month Caltrain’s Board of Directors approved raising rates and fares agencywide. The Caltrain adult fare will increase by 50 cents. The fare is now $12.75 from the furthest point away from San Francisco into The City, one way, if using a Clipper Card, and will soon be $13.75.

The new fares and parking increases go into effect Feb. 28, 2016.

That 50-cent increase will also increase cost of the Day Pass, 8-Ride Ticket and Monthly Pass. Monthly passes from the furthest point on Caltrain south into San Francisco now cost $338, but will jump to $349.80 under the new fare structure.

Caltrain will also bump its parking fees at station lots from $5 daily to $5.50, and from $50 monthly to $55. In a statement, Caltrain warned parking increases will be “enforced” starting July 1, 2016.

When announcing the costs in a statement, Caltrain emphasized its lack of a permanent dedicated source of funding… (more)

Golden Gate Bridge district signs lease for new Marin Airporter hub in San Rafael

By Mark Prado : marinij – excerpt

Marin Airporter transports about 500 passengers a day from its Larkspur Landing Circle site, above. It is being evicted to create more parking spaces for ferry riders.

The Golden Gate Bridge district has approved a lease with the Marin Airporter for a new hub in San Rafael after district officials reclaimed the Larkspur site for added ferry parking.

The bridge district board voted Friday to approve a five-year lease with the Airporter at a 3-acre site it owns at 1011 Andersen Drive. They have been at the Larkspur site since 1985.

The Airporter will pay $20,202 a month in rent. The lease begins May 15 and the Airporter could begin operations at the San Rafael site by July 1, bridge officials said.

“The rent is fair market value and based on an appraisal,” said Denis Mulligan, bridge district general manager… (more)

SFMTA needs to follow the Marin lead and provide parking near the transit hubs if they want more Muni riders.

State to help Milford acquire parking lots

local : sfchronicle – excerpt

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut will borrow $5 million to help Milford build a new downtown parking area…
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office says the money will be on the agenda of the next the State Bond Commission meeting.
The project involves the City of Milford purchasing about 2.2 acres next to the Milford train station which serves Metro-North’s New Haven Line and is used by about 5,000 riders daily.
The parking also can be used by those visiting the city’s courthouse, harbor boat and nearby businesses.
Governor Malloy’s office says it’s part of the administration’s effort to encourage the use of mass transit, reduce reliance on driving, and foster more dense, livable and walkable communities… (more)

Some government officials “get it”. Providing more parking near public transit encourages people to park and ride.

Lack of parking drives many away from mass transit

B : latimes – excerpt

Los Angeles County has funneled billions of dollars over the last two decades into new rail lines to lure commuters out of their cars and off the region’s overcrowded freeways. But many would-be train riders are struggling with how to start.

One of the biggest barriers to attracting new riders to Metropolitan Transportation Authority trains is not the price of fares or the frequency of service. It’s the lack of parking…

Half of Metro’s 80 rail stations have no parking. And at the stops where there are spaces, riders frequently complain that there aren’t nearly enough. In North Hollywood, where the Red Line subway ends, the MTA estimates that it loses as many as 1,500 riders a day because the parking lot fills up by 7:30 a.m…

Scott’s daily dilemma illustrates an often overlooked but significant choke point in the ambitious growth of L.A.’s light-rail system. Metro’s six-line network, which has seen steady ridership gains over the last five years, now carries about 350,000 people on work days. Parking shortages could complicate Metro’s goal of shifting hundreds of thousands more drivers to public transit in coming decades.

Planners say it’s impractical, perhaps impossible, to build enough free parking. Train station lots have low turnover because most commuters leave their cars all day. To meet demand, Metro lots would have to sprawl far beyond the station—or, in dense urban areas, rise several stories.

Studies from several U.S. cities show a direct link between parking and ridership, suggesting that full lots discourage some people from riding the train. But limited land availability and high construction costs constrict Metro’s ability to add spaces…

Northern California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit system faces similar questions. A recent study there estimated a dozen new above-ground parking garages in Oakland, Berkeley and nearby suburbs would cost nearly $250 million to build—about $36,000 per space…  (more)

 

Small Business Commissioner: San Francisco Needs More Parking Garages

by Aaron Bialick : SF.Streetsblog – excerpt

As has become painfully apparent on Polk Street, there is a deeply-held belief among certain merchants that car parking is indispensable to their business — even if studies indicate that very few of their customers drive, and that removing parking spaces to implement safety improvements could actually draw more potential customers.

SF Small Business commissioner and former president Luke O’Brien. Image: SFGovTV

So it’s no surprise that when SFMTA officials came to the SF Small Business Commission to discuss its goals to make streets safer and manage parking demand, preserving parking spaces was pretty much the only priority voiced by commissioners… (more)

Parking at BART stations could rise with high demand

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

BART passengers who park at a station could soon have to shell out a little more cash.
Lots at BART stations frequently fill up during the early-morning commute, a situation that has the agency considering an increase in its parking rates. Daily fees at the 32 stations with parking range from free to $5, but most cost just $1.
As part of a proposal under review, prices could increase by 50 cents twice a year wherever demand is high. For now, the agency is considering capping prices at $3, except for West Oakland, where parking is $5… (more)

Related:
BART looks into raising parking fees

Poll: Caltrain Set To Add More Commute Trains. Will You Ride Now?

By Laura Dudnick and Dave Colby : GilroyPatch – excerpt

Caltrain is adding two new trains and restoring four more in response to a record increase in ridership this year.
I love riding the train…
But recently, it’s become difficult. Parking can be a pain, with spots in my Caltrain lot often harder to find than a clean dog in a flea storm. Once parked, getting on board has become a new experience, akin to the images I see of rush hour train commuters in New York City and the East.
And, after squeezing onto the train, if I find a seat for the 50-minute journey, I feel lucky.
Now, it appears I am not alone in my Caltrain consternation…
What do you think? Will you be on board for Caltrain travel now that there should be some overcrowding relief? Will the additional trains be enough? Is there a solution to the filled parking lots in the morning?..
(more)

Looks like the park and ride issue is still looming large for commuters.