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Metro Might Introduce Paid Parking At Nine Stations

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A Metro presentation posted on the Fans of L.A. Metro Rail Facebook page reveals that the transit agency might soon begin experimenting with a more thorough paid parking system at some rail-station parking lots.

While paying for parking is nothing new—a preferential permit system has been in place for some time now—Metro is looking for more ways to build revenue. The agency faces a $36.8 million dollar deficit for the 2017 fiscal year, and what better way to close that deficient than to charge people for parking at some of the 25,000 spaces scattered throughout the agency’s rail network?

The outline for the parking scheme shows a two-tiered rate, charging one rate for transit users, and another for people who just want to park in the lot. Where transit users can expect to pay $2 - $3 for the privilege of parking in a Metro lot, non-transit users will be looking at paying anywhere from $15 - $25 for a space.

For example, at the Universal City lot, a person who parks their car and takes the Red Line to work in downtown would pay $3 for the spot, while a tourist visiting Universal Studios for the day would shell out $25.

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The nine stations where Metro will introduce parking fees.
Overall, Metro expects the pilot program to generate about $600,000 for the agency, while providing some evaluation points as the agency looks to further monetize its parking lots. The $600,000 value would grow if the pilot program was expanded.

According to L.A. Magazine, the pilot program will likely begin this May when the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica is widely rumored to open. Along with the North Hollywood and Universal City Red Line stations, the program will include stations-lots along both the Gold and Expo Line.

Those who already hold monthly passes at some of the more crowded stations, notably North Hollywood and Universal City, will continue to enjoy preferential privilege. Incidentally, despite the large parking lots, most Metro users do not drive to the station. As Curbed LA points out, fewer than 15 percent of train users arrive at their initial station by car.

Update [1:20]: The vote on the program will take place in March, according to Metro's The Source.