NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New parking city meter rates go into effect today as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the rates will help bring in more revenue for the city. The hike will also put our rates in line with competitive market rates.
Nonetheless, many people we spoke to aren't happy about the increase.
Starting Monday parking meter rates in the French Quarter and the Central Business District will double to $3 per hour.
Metered parking for the rest of the city will jump to two dollars an hour.
You'll also have to pay to park at meters until 7 o'clock Monday through Saturday. Parking remains free on Sunday.
Many throughout the city have been complaining about the rates since they heard about them, suggesting the city should come up with other ways to bring in revenue. Business owners say the higher rates and longer hours will have a negative affect business and safety.
The hours of enforcement for on-street metered spaces will be extended from the current cutoff time of 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parking enforcement will continue to be Monday through Saturday. The city said the new time is a compromise agreement, reduced from the original plan of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
As part of the compromise to reduce the enforcement hours, the City Council has committed to an increase in parking ticket prices from $20 to $30. The change will go before the council in January.
Some of the new revenue will be used to hire an additional 20 parking enforcement officers in 2016, bringing daily staffing to nearly 40 enforcement officers per day.
The city said a major concern of workers is that public transportation options are limited late at night. In response, the city is working with the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority to expand transit services, including bus line hours of operation. In January and February 2016, RTA will begin public hearings on expanding transit services hours into downtown. RTA anticipates expanded services will begin in the spring.