Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: DART Wants to Charge to Park

DART Wants to Charge to Park

This is unbelievable.  For years, DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) has been trying to up its ridership.  They even had to increase their prices because not enough people were riding.  Now that gas prices have increased (though they've come back down quite a bit), people have started to park their cars in order to ride the DART rail.

And guess what... Now, DART wants to start charging for people to park in their parking lots because they're too full and they want to weed people out!  Isn't that ridiculous!!??  They finally get people riding the train though they haven't been able to get people to ride it in years, and now they want to penalize people for riding it, and in essence, stop people from riding it who don't want to pay to park.

But get this, the cities where the DART goes through has already been paying for the DART in their taxes all these years, so they're trying to come up with a solution to possibly not charge people who live within the cities who already pay for it, and make the people coming in from other cities pay to park.

I don't ride the DART, but if I did, I would be one waving my hand to speak.  There is no way I'm going to pay to park when I've been paying taxes all these years to help create the system.  There is no way I would pay $3 a day to ride the train then another amount like $2 a day to park.  That's $5 a day, and that costs more than the gas you would save to drive downtown to work.

It makes no sense, and when people run the numbers to see if riding is actually saving them money, all those parking lots will be empty once again!

Here's a link to more information.

Comment balloon 11 commentsDonna Harris • August 14 2008 08:47AM


Oh My Gosh Donna, please don't let Charlotte hear this one. Last week my husband, son, and I had lunch in Uptown (can't call it downtown, because up sounds so much better than down, yes, a few years back Charlotte had that controversy going on) and we road our light rail. It was pretty neat (although my husband sat next to a man with his high-boy (or what ever you call it) beer in a sack).

Charlotte like Dallas and other cities all have their quirks and growing pains, but they are all fine cities!! 

Have a great day!

Posted by Teresa Harris, Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte (Lake Real Estate, LLC) over 12 years ago

Teresa, I assume Charlotte chose not to charge to park?  We have an "uptown" too and also a "midtown" as downtown sounds to industrial.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago

Hmm... interesting.  You are correct that it does not make sense.  Plus does that really save the consumer money?  Thanks for the FYI.  I wasn't aware of this artcle.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 over 12 years ago

We have the same thing called the Park & Ride with Metro. Pay 2 park, then pay to ride. And yes all of our stupid tax dollars went to build this thing they call a system.

what eats at me is that the goverment (local) is beginning to create all new highways, loops, freeways and guess what? We pay to build them, now we're paying extra to ride on them! Everything being built is now a "toll road" EVERYTHING!

It's almost impossible to NOT pay to ride! I hate being ripped off! Dangit!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 12 years ago

JOhn, It doesn't save money, and it will be hard pressed to get it passed.

Greg, Same with Dallas. There are so many tollways around here, it's not funny.  Now, moving to Austin, they opened their first tollway a few months ago.  So annoying!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago

When I lived in Atlanta and was going to the airport to I would take the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) but I didn't use it on a daily basis because we had to pay to park and pay to ride, just like you.

Posted by Rich Dansereau (Positive Real Estate Professionals) over 12 years ago

Hi Donna... I'm gonna disagree on this one.  If charging people to park prevents the need for charging people to ride the trains then I am all for it.  Our tax dollars may have paid for the infrastructure, but by your logic, if our tax dollars paid for the trains, then riding them should be free of charge too. 

If people are being charged to park at the train stations then it will encourage and promote carpooling to the train station.  This is not a behavior that comes naturally to most people and there is an inconvenience factor, so if DART makes it financially rewarding for people to carpool to the rail station (or downtown), I think it is the only way that we will see this positive behavior readily embraced. 

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 12 years ago

I agree with Steve. DART has done a great job expanding to surburban cities.  Surely there are growing pains, but with the gas prices like they are, paying $5 a day to get to work, even $10 is still a reasonable price.  Having worked Downtown Dallas for years, parking was and still is very expensive, unless you have company paid parking.  I used to work in the Plaza of Americas and the parking was around $12 a day, so was the Crescent, Bank of America and Trammell Crow and don't even get me started on the cost of the hotel parking.

Free parking is great...but if DART has to charge for parking, maybe they will also put in some type of security.  I remember a few weeks back, riders cars were being broken into at the rideshare parking lots.  So a few extra dollars for parking, in order to keep the cars safe and to off-set increased ridership, is really not a bad plan.

Posted by MeLisa Minter, Realtor, Bay Area Houston Real Estate Agent (Minter Real Estate Services) over 12 years ago

Donna:  This is just a guess.  Perhaps when ridership was down... people were just using the DART parking lot as a free place to park... but were not using it to park, and then ride DART.  Perhaps now that ridership is up, and the lot is full, they want to week out those who are not riders.  How can that most easily be done ?  Probably by charging a fee.  But... instead of a per-day fee... I might come up with a monthly or bi-monthly sticker for perhaps $15 a month.  High enough to discourage non-riders, but cheap enough to ENcourage actual riders.  Just a thought.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 12 years ago

Karen Anne's post reminded me of something someone told me a year or so ago.  DART runs a shuttle from the Park Lane DART Rail stop to NorthPark Mall and someone told me that people were parking there at the December holidays time to do their shopping because it was easier to park there and take the free shuttle than it was to park at the mall's crowded lots. 

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 12 years ago

Rich, I rode the MARTA before I ever rode the DART.  It was nice.  I went to see a basketball game.

Steve, But they're going to continue to charge to ride DART.  There's no free ride.  As for the holiday scenario, there will always be exceptions.  I'm sure the same happens on concert nights and game nights too.

MeLisa, They already have security driving the lots because the "regular" police won't handle anything related to the parking lots. 

Karen, I can't imagine where people are going when they park their car in the lots as most don't have anything around them except more parking lots...  I saw DART is supposed to go in Ft Worth next.


Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago