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Optimizing the use of public garages: Pricing parking by demand


  • Pierce, Gregory
  • Willson, Hank
  • Shoup, Donald


Many cities build public garages at great cost but with scant public scrutiny or economic analysis. Other than aiming to recover the cost of debt service and operations, cities appear to have few clear policy aims in managing these garages. In this paper, we outline how U.S. cities currently manage off-street parking structures under their control. We argue that this management largely ignores the logic of both economics and public benefits. We also make the conceptual case for how cities should manage their parking assets to maximize public benefits. Finally, we examine the most promising example of off-street parking public management, using data from 14 garages included in San Francisco's SFpark program. We find that SFpark increased the public use of garages by more than a third, reduced the average price for drivers, and maintained a stable revenue stream for the city.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierce, Gregory & Willson, Hank & Shoup, Donald, 2015. "Optimizing the use of public garages: Pricing parking by demand," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 89-95.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:44:y:2015:i:c:p:89-95
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.07.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chatman, Daniel G. & Manville, Michael, 2014. "Theory versus implementation in congestion-priced parking: An evaluation of SFpark, 2011–2012," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 52-60.
    2. Arnott, Richard, 2006. "Spatial competition between parking garages and downtown parking policy," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 458-469, November.
    3. Pierce, Gregory & Shoup, Donald, 2013. "Getting the Prices Right: An Evaluation of Pricing Parking by Demand in San Francisco," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2h76j73j, University of California Transportation Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Rong & Zhu, Lichao, 2016. "Curbside parking pricing in a city centre using a threshold," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 16-27.
    2. repec:eee:phsmap:v:490:y:2018:i:c:p:1096-1110 is not listed on IDEAS


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