PALM SPRINGS — People used to trudging from the far corners of the airport parking lot to pick up a visitor may have some relief in store– the spaces closest to the terminal could soon be reserved for people making quick trips. Thursday, May 6, 2004
Changes in airport parking fees sought
By Jonathan D. Colburn
The Desert Sun
PALM SPRINGS — People used to trudging from the far corners of the airport parking lot to pick up a visitor may have some relief in store– the spaces closest to the terminal could soon be reserved for people making quick trips.
But visitors to the Palm Springs International Airport will also have to pay a higher price for that convenience.
The Airport Commission approved a plan Wednesday morning that would split the parking lot into short-term and long-term sections and increase the price of parking in the new short-term lot.
If the City Council approves the plan, parking rates will go from $1 for every half hour to $1 for every 20 minutes in the section of the parking lot closest to the terminal, up to a daily maximum of $12. Parking in long-term spaces will cost $8 per day.
Currently, the daily maximum for parking at the airport is $8 and none of the spaces were reserved for long-term parkers.
Under the plan, short-term parking will be restricted to 385 spaces closest to the terminal. The remaining 469 spaces will be reserved for long-term parking.
The price increase is expected to generate an additional $250,000 annually for airport operations. The parking lot now raises $1.3 million each year.
In a report to the airport commission, Director of Aviation Richard Walsh said the additional revenue will be used to pay for increased maintenance and operational costs generated by growth at the airport.
He said he’s also hoping the higher rate will free up some of the spaces closer to the terminal for people dropping off and picking up customers.
Walsh said he didn’t recommend the price increase until after checking with Standard Parking, which manages parking at the airport, to ask whether the plan was practical.
“Quite honestly, if they came to us and said this makes no sense we wouldn’t have done it,” said Walsh. “But it’s in line with what airports are doing across the country, and our rates are still the lowest in town.”
Walsh said that this is the first time the airport has raised its parking fees in three and a half years.
“We saw this as an opportunity to increase parking rates bring them in line with what we should be getting paid,” said Walsh.
Passengers seemed to take the rate hike in stride.
Henry Wilczak, who was visiting Palm Springs from Boca Raton, Fla. said that a long-term rate of $8 per day wasn’t outrageous.
“It’s about the same as Fort Lauderdale,” he said.
Donna Bennett, who was at the airport preparing to go back to Oregon after visiting her son, said that the long-term and short-term rates both seemed high to her, but not higher than everywhere else.
“That seems pretty much the way things are going, unfortunately, in most places,” said Bennett.
Parking fees Palm Springs International Airport proposes to increase parking fees from $1 per half hour to $1 per 20 minutes for short-term, and from $8 to $12 for daily parking. Here’s what other Southern California airports charge:
Ontario International Airport Hourly: $1 per half-hour up to two hours; $24 over two hours. $3 per hour in Lots 4 and 5.
Daily: $6 to $12, depending on lot.
John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana
Hourly: $1 per hour, $17 per day maximum.
Daily: (off airport) $12
Bob Hope Airport, Burbank
Hourly: $2 first hour, $16 daily maximum.
Los Angeles World Airport
Hourly: $3 for first hour, $2 each additional hour, $30 per day maximum.
Daily: $10 in Lot C and $8 in Lot B.