The National Parking Association released during Intertraffic the results of its fourth annual Parking in America survey report. The study measures monthly, daily and hourly rates in cities throughout the United States and Canada, including parking facilities in hospitals, hotels, educational institutions and airports. It also documents rate trends in downtown parking areas and among institutional parking owners and operators.
"This is by far the most comprehensive survey of parking rates across public and private parking assets," said Christine Banning, CAE, president of the National Parking Association. "Parking in America provides an important snapshot of our industry, and it also demonstrates how closely parking is linked to the economy as a whole."
The survey found that in 2011, the average price of a premium downtown space across North America saw an increase of 4.5%, from $15.92 per day to $16.64. This is a rebound from the 2010 study which showed a 20% decline in rates. While at the same time, the average price of the least expensive space in these markets has risen from $8.48 per day to $12.57.
Similarly, the average cost of a premium reserved monthly space dropped for a second straight year from $240 to $199after a decline in 2010 from $281 to $240. This suggests continued downward pressure on long term parking contracts post-recession. The cost of the least expensive monthly spaces increased from $142 to $166. Overall, 38% of Central Business District facilities raised rates, a 40% increase over 2010. Additionally, 29% held rates steady while another 29% lowered prices.
"These daily and monthly price trends reflect the state of the economy," continued Banning. "Consumers are increasingly using parking on a daily basis, but monthly parking paid by employers may still be reduced as companies slowly begin a rebound in hiring. These rate trends reflect the mixed messages of an economy in the midst of a recovery."
The NPA parking survey also found significant differences in the cost of parking from city to city. These differences were also seen when looking at rates based on city size. For example, downtown parkers in Boston paid a maximum daily self-park rate of $33 and valet rate of $43, while drivers in Portland pay a max daily rate as high as $32 for self-park. However, when we look at slightly smaller cities like Missouri City we see daily parking rates as low as $3. As we move into Toronto, Canada we see similar maximum rates as drivers typically pay a daily rate as high as $25 for self-park.
The recession's impact has varied across sectors with Airport On-site operators fairing the best as 50% reported increased revenues, consistent with increasing demand for air travel. CBD, On-street parking also fared well, with 46% reporting increased revenues and only 19% experiencing decreases. Hospital parking facilities continue to be impacted by the economy, with only 31% reporting revenue increases and 22% reporting decreases. Conversely, more than 40% of College and University, Hotel, and Valet operators reported increases above 40% while showing some decreased revenues.
"While the data provided through this survey points in several directions, there is cause for optimism," continued Banning. "Nearly two-thirds of all parking operators see revenue stabilizing or increasing over the past year. I'm confident that the growth in the travel and hospitality sectors signals increasing consumer demand and recent job reports indicate a slowly improving employment outlook that bodes well for gains in parking demand throughout North America."
Parking in America includes data from 47 states, 91 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Participants own or operate more than 28,000 parking facilities with more than 10.7 million parking spaces.
Survey results can be found online on the NPA website at www.npapark.org/research.