The price of just about everything is going up. The city wants to add parking rates to the list

"We’re around the minimum, getting to an average, but nowhere near the max private is what we’re proposing.”
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 9:52 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 at 11:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is looking to raise its parking rates to offset low revenue.

Transportation Services Chief Planner Chris Clark explained to the City Council on Tuesday that over $11 million has been invested into their parking program, but they’re far from making that money back.

“We are losing about $4.7 million annually on our parking program so if we were a business, it’s a terrible business to be in,” said Clark.

According to the Department of Transportation Services, there are over 2,400 parking stalls in city structures.

The city’s parking rates are 15-80% less than what private parking lots charge, officials say.

“There’s a tipping point at which you raise it too high well less people will park so we have to make sure we make that decision wisely,” said Clark. “We’re around the minimum, getting to an average, but nowhere near the max private is what we’re proposing.”

Clark said this simple act could have an impact on travel behavior.

Alan Villacorta has been working in downtown for nearly two decades and pays $100 a month to park.

“No, please don’t raise the rate,” said Villacorta. “Give us a break for the working stiffs that have to come into the office.”

The city’s plan would raise monthly parking in city garages and lots between Ward and Chinatown to anywhere between $170 to over $300.

“Maybe if they advertise a little bit more that hey, we’ve got the cheapest rate, you may get more people shifting to them from the private lots,” said Villacorta.

The city said more than 4,200 parking meters are not making anywhere near as much money as they could.

Clark said only about half of the people in the city using street parking are paying the meters.

“I actually think we don’t do a good enough job with enforcements to secure increased fines,” said Honolulu City Councilmember Esther Kiaaina.

“Especially in front of the federal building [on] Punchbowl, Halekauwila, everybody kind of knows that the meter maid only comes once a day,” said Villacorta. “And generally, they kind of know that after lunchtime, there’s really nobody enforcing the parking limits.”

Clark said fine revenue goes to the state. He also added that they want to modernize parking and plans to return to the council with rates.