While Cincinnati leaders would like to see their parking system generate more in revenue than it costs to operate and maintain it, that is not the reality. It is, however, the reality across the river in Covington.
A review of Covington’s recently approved 2014-2015 budget estimates the parking system will bring in approximately $1.6 million in revenue, while costing only $1.1 million for operations, maintenance and upgrades.
One of the largest chunks of Covington’s annual parking revenue, however, comes from lease payments which total about $491,000 – or nearly one-third of the city’s annual parking revenues.
Had Cincinnati followed through with its parking lease agreement, it too would have realized these benefits by offloading expenses and locking in fixed lease payments. Under Cincinnati’s parking lease, the city would have received anywhere from $3-4 million in annual payments from the concessionaire.
In order just to break even, the City of Cincinnati has and continues to defer needed maintenance and upgrades, while also depleting its parking fund.
Covington will also benefit from increased parking rates, which will net the city an additional $68,500 in the first year. Those changes include a 10-cent per hour increase for on-street parking meters, and a $2 per day increase at the RiverCenter Parking Garage.
In addition to on-street parking meters throughout downtown, Covington has 818 parking spaces in 16 surface lots and another 1,574 spaces in three different parking garages.