PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Area Rapid Transit is considering charging some riders for parking at additional stations.
On Tuesday DART’s Planning Committee will be updated on the Fair Share Parking program.
The program has been in place for a year and charges riders who live outside DART’s 13 member cities $2 a day to park at some of its furthest most stations.
The trial program was put in place to address the equity issue with riders who live outside DART’s service area and don’t pay any taxes to DART and to see if DART could generate extra revenue.
Since the parking program started last year, many riders have driven further to park at stations where the parking is free. Wylie resident and DART rider Patti Cuza said she stopped parking at the Parker Road Station when the parking fees were first implemented.
“Tons of people that I actually work with have done the same,” she explained. “They stopped going to Parker and they now park here (Bush Turnpike Station).”
DART estimates 45% of all non-residents who used to park at the Parker Road Station now park at the Bush Turnpike Station.
It’s a similar pattern in Carrollton where parking usage has dropped at the paid lots at the North Carrollton Station and increased at the next station, Frankford, where parking is free.
In fact, so many people have left the Parker Road and North Carrollton stations that it has costs more to operate the parking facilities than the lots have generated.
Platinum Parking, the vendor that manages the parking, lost $103,474 in the first 11 months of the Fair Share Parking program.
DART officials emphasized none of that loss comes out of its pocket.
“It’s costing our taxpayers nothing,” said DART spokesman Mark Ball. “This is 100% the responsibility of the contractor.”
However, if Platinum Parking were to turn a profit from the DART parking lots, the agency would receive half of net revenue.
The DART board will consider Tuesday whether charging non-service area riders to park at additional stations, such as at the Bush Turnpike Station, would drive them back to the Park Road location.
However, some riders said it will just drive them away.
“If it moves down here to Bush, I will stop riding,” said McKinney resident and DART rider Wayne Campbell.
The DART board will also consider doing away with parking fees all together.
The earliest any changes would go into effect is May 1st.