Who Sets Rates at Fannin South Park & Ride?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007 5:05 PM
A blog reader asked recently about the rate structure at the Fannin South Park & Ride and METRO's business relationship with Ampco System Parking, a subsidiary of ABM Industries Inc.
METRO owns the property. Ampco leases it from METRO, paying us $25,000 a month and operates and maintains it, says Steve Flippo, manager of joint development at METRO.
"We turn it over to Ampco to collect the parking fees, clean the lot, and keep it in good shape. They pay the light bills, maintenance, and security. They run it," explains Flippo.
Ampco determines the fees at that lot. It charges $2.50 a day for parking and raises the rate during special events. Event parking can range from $6 to $10.
"They're parking professionals, and therefore, they should know their market," says Flippo. "They deal with parking day in and day out - special events all over the city, all over the country. We know transit, they know parking."
METRO signed an agreement with Ampco in November 2006. Three years prior to that, Ace Parking maintained and operated that lot.
How does Ampco set its rates?
"They keep up with whether there's a convention or auto show or boat show at Reliant. Typically, their approach is to gauge how big a show it is and whether it will draw a lot of people," says Flippo. "They do a market analysis. If it's a massive show that we know is going to draw a lot of folks, they might charge $10. If it's more a mid-sized show, maybe it's $6 or $7. They make the determination on what the market will bear."
Although Ampco sets its own rates at Fannin South Park & Ride, if it were to charge outrageous fees, METRO could terminate its contract. "Ampco wouldn't want to charge too much because that would generate no revenue for themselves. That's not a wise business decision," says Flippo. "They gain nothing by going beyond what the market will bear."
While $10 may seem like a lot to pay for parking, be glad you're not living in the Northeast. Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMTA) owns and operates 35 suburban lots and garages where daily parking ranges from $3.50 to $4.
When the Washington Redskins play at FedX Field in Maryland, event parking climbs to $25 at two stations that are within walking distance of the stadium, says Steve Taubenkiel, WMATA spokesperson.
Washington Metro is proposing a rate increase in its daily rates to offset its current deficit. This Thursday, it will propose to its board of directors a rate increase of 50 cents.
The only other METRO Park & Ride lot where we charge to park is our new Cypress Park & Ride garage. METRO owns the garage, and Ampco manages and maintains the garage for METRO.