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November 04, 2021

'Dynamic-priced parking' proposal would base Philly's meter rates on demand

Councilmember Mark Squilla has introduced legislation that would eliminate the city's flat hourly rate

Transportation Parking
Parking Philadelphia Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Philadelphia currently charges $2 per hour for metered parking. But a new proposal would eliminate that flat rate in favor of rates that fluctuate based on demand.

There is a proposal to replace the city's flat-rate, metered parking with rates based on demand. That could hike parking prices in some neighborhoods and cut it in others. 

City Councilmember Mark Squilla introduced the proposal last week as a way to free up parking spots and reduce illegal parking in the city.

The specifics, including prices and locations, are still not finalized, but the bill's current framework would allow pre-established price fluctuation that could be renewed for up to 12 months, Christopher Puchalsky, director of policy and strategic initiatives at the city's Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, told Axios.

Philadelphia's metered parking currently costs $2 per hour. 

Parking availability decreased in the city during the pandemic as outdoor dining expanded to take up street spots.

Other big cities, like New York City and San Francisco, already have so-called "dynamic-priced parking" in place. Dynamic parking can influence trip timing choices and encourages people to take public transportation.

New York City imposed dynamically-priced parking that responds to demand and varies from $1.25 to $7.50 across all five boroughs.

"There are different parking rate zones across the city tailored to improve curb access, promote turnover and increase parking availability. Rates and rules for commercial vehicles are different," according to NYC DOT.

Squilla told Axios that he anticipates some pushback from residents, but noted that starting it as a pilot program "allows you to test it without forcing it down people's throat."

The bill has been assigned to the Committee on Streets and Services.

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