This is Crazy…


This is Crazy…

Correspondent Mark used that headline, and I’m stealing it – He is absolutely right. This is a potential disaster for our industry. The city of Washington, PA, is banning the opening of any new private parking lots in the city. Why? They raised the rates for city parking downtown and guess what, the numbers went down. So to protect their income, they are preventing private businesses from competing. If this happened in the private sector, the Feds would be all over it for restraint of trade and Lord knows what else. Of course this is the government so it’s OK.

I’m sure they did no study or asked any parking experts. They just needed more money and raised the rates. In the private sector everyone knows that you mess with pricing at your peril. You study the market, do surveys and tests. You look at all the factors. I doubt if the city moms and pops did that here. And now they are fixing their disaster by keeping the rest of the market at bay.

As usual the entire reason d’etre is increasing the city’s income. They expanded their services, have pension plans that frankly no private company could afford, and now are facing ruin and looking everywhere, including parking, for money. It’s a desperation move as far as I am concerned.

If they can do it in Washington, PA, they can do it everywhere. Be afraid, be very afraid.



Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. This happened in Hamilton , Ontario 3 years ago and yes it will be a trend in order for municipalities to protect and/or increase their share of the market……

  2. Wow. most of my study has revealed extraordinarily low parking elasticity. You could keep raising parking rates more and more and still see increases in revenue. But apparently, little Washington PA has gone past the market clearing rate and are now in revenue decline. Bravo for them for upping the rate, although they should have known something was wrong when they had to eliminate private competition.

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