By Terry Miller
Last week, we reported on the unusual sight of a usually fully Metro parking lot.
Read More: Metro’s Arcadia Paid Parking Lot Half Empty
We reached out to Metro’s Dave Sotero for comment after numerous readers said they refuse to pay for the previously free parking and subsequently seek alternatives.
Sotero told Beacon Media that Arcadia’s Metro station lot has “about 150 to 170 parking spaces open during weekdays. This is anticipated and proves our program is working. The $3 rate is strategically performing the way it should be. The facility was actually underutilized before we implemented paid parking at the Monrovia Gold Line station. After the implementation of paid parking at that station, many users headed to Arcadia for free parking and it operated at capacity before implementation of the paid parking program at Arcadia and Duarte Stations on June 3. Since then, the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line Station garage has accommodated an additional 120 to 130 cars per day. We also notice that additional cars have returned to Monrovia Station, as the parking fee is now consistent across all stations.”
Metro also said they observed that “Patrons from the 24-Hour Fitness Center adjacent to the Arcadia Station have been using our parking facility without riding the Metro Gold Line. Our new system that requires a ridership transaction to park has been effective in deterring non-Metro riders from using this lot. Metro does not have an obligation to provide parking for gym patrons.”
Sotero also told Beacon:
“Overall, balancing parking demand and opening up parking availability at Arcadia and Duarte Stations is anticipated. We will closely monitor ridership through TAP boarding data on the Gold Line Extension. This data will typically be ready in about 30 days. At this point, we have not identified a loss of ridership impact based on our overall car counts at all station parking facilities along the Gold Line Extension. The balanced performance is expected.
“We have successfully gotten parking demand under control and deterred non-Metro riders at other stations on the Metro System. We will continue to monitor the performance of the Gold Line. Typically, the demand is likely to increase again slightly after the second month.
“At some stations such as the Monrovia and Atlantic Gold Line Stations, we developed programs to allow non-transit or other alternative use of the parking facility. Our bottom line goal is to prioritize parking availability for customers, especially during transit commuting hours.”
The story last week caused a number of readers to comment such as K. Buckmas from Arcadia:
“Since they started charging on June 1, the lot has been MUCH lighter during the week. I’m not sure what the compromise is here. When it was free parking, I rarely found a spot after 8 a.m. (i.e. after I dropped kids at school).
“In addition to the $3 fee, parking requires an active TAP card. I wonder if the full lot was actually Metro riders that have since sought out free parking at Sierra Madre Villa, or if the lot was being used by many non-riders, or park-and-riders. It will be curious what the net effect is on ridership. How many people will stop riding because of the parking fee vs. the people that start riding consistently because they can count on being able to park at those stations?”