Metro Raising Parking Rates for NoHo and Universal; Most Parking Still Free

Parking lot at Metro's Universal City Red Line Station. Most spaces are free to the driver, but several hundred monthly permit spaces will see a rate increase this July.
Parking lot at Metro’s Universal City Red Line Station. Most spaces remain free to the driver, but several hundred San Fernando Valley monthly permit spaces will see a rate increase this July. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

As of July 1st 2014, Metro will raise monthly permit parking rates for two of its most popular and most sold-out parking lots. Metro’s North Hollywood Red Line Station monthly parking permit will go from $39 to $59. Universal City Station monthly parking permits will go from $39 to $55.

SBLA has been critical of Metro’s ineffective and fiscally-irresponsible parking policies. These increases are a worthwhile small step in the right direction. The increases help Metro make parking available to people who need it, while lessening parking cost burdens on the vast majority of Metro’s riders whose trips do not begin with driving.

As of July 2014, Metro will increase monthly parking permit rates for two popular San Fernando Valley Red Line Stations. Screenshot parkmetro.com
As of July 2014, Metro will increase monthly parking permit rates for two popular San Fernando Valley Red Line Stations. Screenshot parkmetro.com this morning

The majority of parking at these Metro stations remains free.

At least free to drivers.

Well, free to those drivers who show up by 6:30am or so. 

According to the Metro website, as of this morning, the NoHo station has 333 paid spaces and 619 free spaces: 65 percent free parking. Metro shows Universal City with 126 paid spaces and 773 free spaces: 86 percent free parking.

For the overall Metro rail and BRT system, 93 percent of parking spaces is free. Free meaning: paid for by every transit rider, not by the end user.

Though these two San Fernando Valley stations were already the most expensive in the system, the price was too low for ensuring availability. Metro patrons wanting to buy SFV Red Line station parking permits can not purchase them today, because they’re completely sold out.

As of this morning, there are long wait lists: 246 in line for NoHo, and 103 in line for Universal.

Get in line behind the 246 other people who want to pay to park at Metro's NoHo Red Line Station. Screenshot from parkmetro.com this morning
Get in line behind the 246 other people who want to pay to park at Metro’s NoHo Red Line Station. Screenshot from parkmetro.com this morning

Hopefully, with Metro’s rate increase, these long lines will diminish, and people who actually want to pay for Metro Parking will be able to. The increased rate should also help Metro pay for station parking construction and maintenance, so those costs don’t put further fiscal pressure to increase Metro bus and rail fares.

In other Metro parking news: Metro’s pay for parking website Parkmetro.com is missing the their Expo Line La Cienega station. The station has a seven story parking structure, including two subterranean floors. According to signage posted on site, the two basement floors are restricted to paid monthly permit holders. Unfortunately, as of today, neither Metro nor Parkmetro.com websites list any permits for sale at the La Cienega Station.

Perhaps these two floors are transitioning from free to paid, and the website will be up to date soon. As of yesterday afternoon, when above-ground free parking was mostly full, Metro was operating very expensive to construct, but very very empty subterranean parking.

  • Fakey McFakename

    It gets worse: the reason why there’s no TOD on the current parking lots, according to a 2011 CRA/LA report on the North Hollywood Redevelopment Area, is because Metro is insisting any project include at least 1500 (!) commuter parking spaces in addition to whatever number of spaces the project would otherwise require.

  • Joe Linton

    groan. (link to report?)

  • Fakey McFakename

    http://www.crala.net/internet-site/Projects/North_Hollywood/upload/NH_IP_FY2011-2015.pdf Page 15

    At least that was my reading. It could be that Metro’s putting the project on hold for other reasons (e.g., waiting for land values to increase, much as private landowners often retain surface lots for the same reason). But I suspect that the cost of a 1500 space parking structure significantly influences the value of the project as a whole. It also ignores the fact that if parking were really the most lucrative use of the land, the developer would keep parking anyway. Plus, it means Metro’s essentially asking to be paid in kind rather than fungible money that can be spent anywhere in the system.

    It’s definitely clear that current Metro staff are ignoring their own studies – that car-to-station is only 9%, of which half are within walking or biking distance (http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/sustainability/images/path_design_guidelines_draft_november_2013.pdf – which actually uses NoHo as an example!). They’re designing projects around subsidizing the wealthiest 4.5%.

    (For what it’s worth, I think adopting market pricing for parking – or, better yet, getting Metro out of the parking business altogether and leaving it to private enterprise to decide whether parking is more valuable than TOD – is not an alternative to fare hikes, but it definitely needs to be done nonetheless, with revenues dedicated to improving first mile/last mile, increasing frequency of feeder buses, and general improvements for station-adjacent areas.)

  • JC

    “The increased rate should also help Metro pay for station parking
    construction and maintenance, so those costs don’t put further fiscal
    pressure to increase Metro bus and rail fares.”

    Sorry Joe, that is factually inaccurate, not logical, and you should intuitively know it. Metro spends many Billions of Dollars to operate the system that they have in place and that doesn’t even count the monies spent to extend the rail system. The 2015 Budget is $5.5 Billion. Will or how are parking fees going to raise the billions, ….lets say tens of Millions of Dollars, that Metro will need to operate the system?

    Implicit it what you write is that Metro should be a free market capitalist but have you even thought about the people that are living paycheck to paycheck and need to weigh spending more money/time for transit versus money/time with kids and family? Or what about people who do not live within a couple of miles of any particular station or stations? There are numerous permutations that affect peoples lives. It may be very well for you to live your life and push that agenda on other people, but you are not as clever as you think.

    Your zealotry and closed minded ignorance of finance and of issues regarding parking are loud and clear. Unfortunately, you have a blog that will allow you the chance to yell the loudest but it will not make you right.

  • Alex Brideau III

    You may disagree with Joe’s “agenda”, but that doesn’t change the fact that all Metro users are paying for the “free” parking that’s used by a minority of Metro users.

    A lot of us live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t expect my Metro rides to be free (though that would be f’in awesome!) and I don’t expect my parking to be either.

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