NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In 2016, the City of New Orleans increased the times and number of days drivers must feed the parking meters, and the change has paid off.
The latest revenue numbers provided by the city are from October. With two month still left to count, the extended hours yielded $6,987,459 in 2016. In 2015, the city collected $5,465,766 in parking fees and $4,198,789 in 2014.
"It kind of aggravating having to to pay six bucks just to come to work to do anything," resident Mark Schettler said.
Schettler manages a bar in the French Quarter and fought against the rate increase. Outside of the business door, drivers must feed the meter every two hours at $3 an hour Monday through Saturday.
"It's 30 dollars if you want to work from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. which is pretty standard for us," Schettler said. "That's a lot of money every time you go to work to be taxed 30 bucks on it."
"It is a love-hate relationship," Magazine Street business owner George Saucier said. "We've got to have it. So you've got to live with it."
Saucier likes that the meters create a turnover of customers but also dislikes the hassle it sometimes creates.
"A clear day, it's still not working and there's no reason. It doesn't give you an excuse it just says machine inoperable," Saucier said.
The millions of dollars collected from the meters gets funneled back in the city's general fund.
Both Schettler and Saucier believe at least some of that money should pay to upgrade the system already in place.
"When you're saying the reason we need to do this is because there's an issue with parking and with traffic in this city, I think that the hope is that of the many worthy outlets for that money that this one be going back into that," Schettler said.
The $7 million-plus in revenue for parking meters in 2016 does not include the amount of money the city collects from parking violations.