Demand-Based Parking Meter Rate Setting

New Parking Meter Rates in Central Downtown

The Parking Authority of Baltimore City adjusted parking meter rates for the sixth time in Central Downtown using Demand-Based Parking Meter Rate Setting. Using occupancy data collected every six months, the Parking Authority is adjusting rates slowly and incrementally (no more than 25₵ every six months) to produce one or two available parking spaces on each block face (15-25% availability; or 75-85% occupancy).

The following formula is used to determine rate adjustments:

  • If the average occupancy rate is above 85% in a block (higher than the target range), the rate will go up to discourage some parkers from parking on this block, creating more available parking spaces.
  • If the average occupancy rate is below 75% in a block (lower than the target range), the rate will go down to encourage more parkers to park on this block.
  • If the average occupancy rate is between 75% and 85% (the target range), the rate will not change because there are already one or two parking spaces available.

 

Demand Based Parking Meter Rate Setting

CBD Meter Rate Adjustment Study Round 6, Fall 2019

Data for Round 6 of the PABC’s meter rate adjustments were collected in October and November 2019. Detailed findings are below, followed by a chart of rate changes for each block face, and a rate map.  You can download the full report here.

Findings 

  • Of the 215 block faces studied, 76 block faces’ (35%) rates will increase by $0.25, 92 block faces’ (43%) rates will maintain, and 47 block faces’ (22%) rates will decrease by $0.25. Overall, 65% of block faces will either maintain or decrease their current rates. 

Number & percentage of block faces that went up, down and stayed the same

  • There will be 13 meter rates throughout the CBD: $3.50, $3.25, $3.00, $2.75, $2.50, $2.25, $2.00, $1.75, $1.50, $1.25, $1.00, $0.75, and $0.50. 
  • 35 block faces (16%) have had rate increases in all six rounds of the study and will now have a rate of $3.50. For Round 2 there were 61 block faces (28%) that had increased in all rounds, for Round 3 there were 53 block faces (24%), for Round 4 there were 41 block faces (19%), and for Round 5 there were 39 block faces (18%). 

Download the complete report here.

Rate Per Hour # of Block Faces % of Total
$3.50 35 16%
$3.25 18 8%
$3.00 22 10%
$2.75 12 6%
$2.50 11 5%
$2.25 9 4%
$2.00 7 3%
$1.75 19 9%
$1.50 17 9% 
$1.25 16 7%
$1.00 14  7% 
$0.75 22 10% 
$0.50 13  6%
  • 13 block faces (6%) have had rate decreases in all six rounds of the study and will now have a rate of $0.50 per hour. For Round 2 there were 38 block faces (18%) that had decreased in all rounds, for Round 3 there were 33 block faces (15%), for Round 4 there were 26 block faces (12%) and for Round 5 there were 24 block faces (11%). • This data shows that with each round of the study more block faces are reaching the correct rates. However, because the rates are being adjusted incrementally, it is likely that about 20% of block faces have not yet reached their correct rate (above $3.50 or below $0.50). • 49% of block faces will have a rate higher than, 3% of block faces will have a rate equal to, and 48% of block faces will have a rate lower than the original rate of $2.00 per hour. 

 


What is demand-based parking meter rate setting?

Beginning in the Summer of 2017, the Parking Authority of Baltimore City started using demand for parking spaces to determine the hourly parking meter rate on blocks in Central Downtown. Using data collected every six months, the Parking Authority will adjust rates to help create one or two available parking spaces on each block, making it easier for parkers to find parking downtown and spend more time enjoying Baltimore.

What's the goal?

To reach our goal of one or two available parking spaces per block (15-25% availability; or 75-85% occupancy), we must use the right rate - the lowest rate that will regularly produce one or two available parking spaces on each block face.

How does it work?

Data will be collected and analyzed every six months to determine the average occupancy rate on each block. Meter rates will be adjusted incrementally and slowly. Rates will be adjusted up or down in $0.25 increments no more than once every six months.

  • If occupancy is higher than 85% in a particular block, the rate will go up.
  • If occupancy is lower than 75% in a particular block, the rate will go down.
  • If occupancy is between 75% and 85%, the rate will not change

Downloads

Other cities with demand-based pricing: