Indianapolis parking revenues jump to over $3 million in 2013


New figures from the city show Indianapolis is cashing in on parking.

Three years after it began a 50-year lease with ACS, a Xerox Company, to modernize and manage metered parking, revenues are up substantially.

Figures from the city show it went from netting $339,165 in 2010, when the city ran parking, to $3,066,546 in 2013 under ParkIndy. That's an 800% increase.

Mark Murphy, who was at a pay box along Mass. Avenue Wednesday, said, "I have no complaints. I still think the price is reasonable and I think in the private sector things tend to go better."

Others paying up felt differently.

Zac Clephane said he still gets frustrated trying to figure out how to pay with a credit card.

Pointing to the digital screen at the top of the pay box, he said, "See, it gives you different directions here than does down here [near the keypad.] You're dealing with two sets of directions and they conflict."

Told about the city taking in more parking revenue, he offered, "Oh, I bet they have. If you confuse people, the more fees you rake in."

Gross parking revenue from 2013 shows ParkIndy collected just over $6 million from meters versus the city taking in $2.1 million in 2010. Why such a big jump? Rates went up twice from 75 cents an hour to $1 to $1.50 in 2012.

ParkIndy also expanded hours going from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. weekdays and adding Saturdays, which had been free. And it added meters, going from 3,630 in 2010, to 3,800 in 2013.

ParkIndy has also collected more through enforcement. In 2010, the city collected just under $1.3 million in parking fines. In 2013, ParkIndy took in just over $2 million (although that was down about $100,000 from 2012.)

Peter Fuller, who found a yellow ticket on his windshield Wednesday, was a bit confused saying, "I could have sworn I had until 12:23 and it's not even yet," but not surprised at the jump in tickets issued.

"I don't know how they get it so fast. They're all over very quickly," he said.

The third source of parking revenue is from permits and temporary closures, usually when a developer needs to bag meters because of construction. In 2010, permit revenue was $101,000. Last year it was nearly $675,000. Stephanie Wilson with the Department of Public Works said it didn't increase because of fees, but the amount of construction taking place downtown, especially with CityWay and Artistry.

While the new parking system hasn't always been popular with drivers, David Andrichick, who owns the Chatter Box and co-chairs the Mass. Avenue Merchants Association is pleased with it. He said the longer hours and higher parking rates have increased turnover.

He said before there were "many abuses of the parking spaces by workers who would park here (through the day) and keep running back to feed the meter or (those who lived in apartments) parking here because it was more convenient than in the spaces they leased."

Andrichick said concertgoers are also more likely now to park in private lots.

"Absolutely there's more turnover and it's really changed people's behavior," he said. "And it's good for business owners."

Wilson said at this point there are no plans to expand hours or raise rates.

Under the agreement with ParkIndy, the city has received about a third of the gross revenue. Last year, that increased to 36% because of a tiered payment structure; the city earns a higher percentage as revenues rise.

As for where the revenue goes? State law says it must be used for improvements in and around the meters.

On top of the revenue-sharing, the city also received $20 million up front as part of the long-term lease.

Figures provided by the City of Indianapolis:

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013
Meter revenue $2,149,949 $2,882,847 $5,325,041 $6,079,420
Meter enforcement $1,276,213 $1,684,189 $2,130,663 $2,019,409
Permit/Temp closure $101,865 $497,280 $289,452 $674,938
Net revenue to city $339,165 $1,519,295 $2,530,391 $3,066,546