While the nation continues to grapple with COVID-19 and we all continue to make changes in the way we live, work and interact. The past several months have been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, and we’re working hard to evolve so we can continue to serve in a meaningful way for our customers.
Part of that has meant serving you in new ways. We want to continue to bring you the service and convenience you need, even if it may look a little different than it has in the past. During the pandemic, we have continued to provide modified security guard services in our parking garages, 24 hours per day, seven days a week; centralized command center operations; virtual customer service hours; enhanced custodial and sanitization services in the parking garages; parking enforcement to monitor 54 curbside delivery zones, fire lanes, outdoor dining areas and other no-parking zones; and parking equipment upgrades throughout our facilities.
Over the last few months, the financial impacts of COVID-19 have challenged our organization in unprecedented ways. The significant revenue shortfall has presented fiscal hardship, which has required us to reprioritize our existing resources while identifying strategic reductions, with consideration given to continue our essential services. In the face of these trying circumstances we had to make some very difficult decisions including delaying and/or canceling several facility projects, reducing our security contract staffing levels; furloughing all of our part-time staff; reducing the cost of service contracts, and reducing operating budgets.
Unfortunately, these efforts did not yield the financial resources required to cover the costs of debt service and basic operational costs. One of the most challenging decisions was to proceed with implementing the planned parking fee increases to offset the overall revenue deficits caused by the pandemic. The 2017-18 Downtown Parking Study recommended the City periodically increase its hourly and special event/evening parking rates to offset increased operational costs and to better align with market conditions.
The below rate increase, approved by the City Council at their September 8, 2020 regular business meeting, was necessary to help cover the costs of several initiatives that were already implemented in response to community input and to provide a more favorable parking experience for you including:
Also beginning on October 5, we are implementing a flat-rate $7 per vehicle evening parking fee for customers parking in the Chapel Hill Street, Church Street, Corcoran Street, Durham Centre, and Morgan/Rigsbee Garages from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays. We’ve made this change due to lost ticket revenues from customers who failed to pay by exiting the parking garage after 7 p.m. (when parking was free) coupled with the impacts of lost special event revenues. This increased fee will help to offset overall operational costs including enhanced cleaning and sanitization while also ensuring payments from all customers who are parking in our garages.
Customers will be issued a payment ticket entrance lane device which you must retain to pay at the pay-on-foot stations located throughout the garages. When exiting, you will pay the $7 at one of the pay-on-foot stations located throughout the garages. Signage is posted directing to these payment devices. If you do not have your ticket when you exit, you can expect to pay the lost ticket fee of $16.50 which already applies to daytime customers who lose their tickets.
The daily rate would apply up until time of exit. On Saturday, if a vehicle enters before 7 p.m. when parking is free, there is no charge when exiting.
If a downtown resident who has a monthly parking permit is expecting guests, please contact our Customer Service Center to arrange for a guest parking permit.
This program was put in place to accommodate the needs of downtown evening employees by offering a lower cost option for evening parking at our downtown parking garages. Applicants will need to show proof of downtown evening employment in the form of a schedule or paystub. Attempted access to parking decks outside of the program hours will result in the access card being disabled and repeated misuse can result in cancellation of the account. Downtown evening employees should contact our Park Durham Customer Service Center to acquire their special evening parking permit.
Thank you for your understanding and support during these unprecedented times. If you have any questions, contact us at (919) 560-4157 or ParkDurham@DurhamNC.gov. Be sure to follow our department on Twitter @movesafedurham. Thank you for your understanding and support as we strive to improve our parking facilities to create a more favorable parking experience for you.