Public parking will get pricier in the city of Miami, but not for residents who register with the parking authority.
On Thursday, the Miami City Commission approved a measure to raise parking rates for spots on the street and in city-owned garages, effective Jan. 1. Residents who register with the city through the PayByPhone mobile payment system would pay existing parking rates or, in some instances, even lower rates.
Residents will pay $1.40 hourly for street parking across the city. Non-residents would pay varying higher rates, depending on the neighborhood: $3.25 per hour in Wynwood, the Design District, Brickell and Southwest Eighth Street, $1.75 per hour in Allapattah and the areas of 27th Avenue, West Flagler Street and Coral Way, and $3 per hour in Midtown and the area around Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Rates in city-owned parking lots will also increase.
“The current fee structure is outdated and fails to reflect current market conditions,” the ordinance says, citing an analysis of current parking rates by the Miami Parking Authority.
Miami hasn’t updated its parking rates since 2009. The city estimates the move could raise an additional $6 million in the first budget year, from January through October 2019. A full year or higher rates, together with stricter enforcement planned by parking officers, could yield about $10 million in annual revenue, according to Miami Parking Authority CEO Art Noriega.
Those figures were compelling to Commissioner Joe Carollo. He said that while no commissioner is “thrilled about it,” the new income for the city is necessary.
“That’s a significant impact on the budget,” he said. “There are not that many items that can bring that kind of money to the city.”
The measure passed 4-1, with Commissioner Manolo Reyes opposing it. Reyes simply said he believes the hike will hurt residents and small businesses.
“I’m sorry, but the more that i think about this, I think the increase is too high,” he said.
City residents must register their license plate number with the parking authority to get the resident rates. Enrollment must be renewed annually. Residents can register online here with the Miami Parking Authority.
Noriega said the parking authority has already held eight events in seniors centers where city staffers have registered residents through PayByPhone. He added that several seniors told him they didn’t need to set up PayByPhone.
“Many of them have handicap parking decals,” he said. “They don’t pay for parking.”
Noriega said parking officers will also beef up enforcement, which will affect drivers who forget to feed the meter. While the city controls parking rates, Miami-Dade County controls parking fines, which will nearly double Jan 1.
Miami isn’t alone: Key West officials this month approved an across-the-board parking rate increase, projected to raise an additional $1.4 million for the city.
In a preliminary vote in September, Miami commissioners unanimously approved an altered plan where residents who register with the city through PayByPhone would pay existing parking rates, while non-residents paid the higher fees.
Carollo and Reyes argued the city should consider all possible new revenue sources at the same time, including rates for boat storage at city-owned marinas. City Manager Emilio Gonzalez approved increases in mooring, dockage and dry storage rates, which will also take effect Jan. 1.
Several people who live aboard their vessels complained about a 25 percent rate hike during Thursday’s public comment period. At the request of Commissioner Ken Russell, the rates will increase gradually for these “live-aboards.” They will see half of the increase Jan 1, and the other half after six months. In the meantime, the city still has to repair damage caused by Hurricane Irma, from lighting to an air conditioner in the marina’s laundry room.