Demand-Based Parking Meter Rate Setting

New Parking Meter Rates in Central Downtown

This fall, the Parking Authority of Baltimore City will adjust parking meter rates for the fifth 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 5, Spring 2019

Data for Round 5 of the PABC’s meter rate adjustments were collected from April– May 2019. Detailed findings are below, followed by a chart of rate changes for each block face, and a rate map.  

 Rate Change Percentages

Findings 

  • Of the 217 block faces studied, 87 block faces (40%) will increase by $0.25; 61 block faces (28%) will maintain their current rate, and 69 block faces (32%) will decrease by $0.25. Overall, 60% of the block faces will either maintain or decrease their current rate. Download the complete report here.
Rate Per Hour # of Block Faces % of Total
$3.25 39 18%
$3.00 27 12%
$2.75 18 8%
$2.50 12 6%
$2.25 11 5%
$2.00 12 6%
$1.75 24 11%
$1.50 10 5%
$1.25 22 10%
$1.00 18 8%
$0.75 24 11%
  • Total Breakdown: There are now 11 meter rates throughout Central Downtown: $3.25, $3.00, $2.75, $2.50, $2.25, $2.00, $1.75, $1.50, $1.25, $1.00, and $0.75. As seen in the table above, 39 block faces (18%) will have a rate of $3.25 per hour; 27 block faces (12%) will have a rate of $3.00 per hour; 18 block faces (8%) will have a rate of $2.75 per hour; 12 block faces (6%) will have a rate of $2.50 per hour; 11 block faces (5%) will have a rate of $2.25 per hour; 12 block faces (6%) will have a rate of $2.00 per hour; 24 block faces (11%) will have a rate of $1.75 an hour; 10 block faces (5%) will have a rate of $1.50 per hour; 22 block faces (10%) will have a rate of $1.25 per hour; 18 block faces (8%) will have a rate of $1.00 per hour; and 24 block faces (11%) will have a rate of $0.75 per hour.    
  • 39 block faces (18%) have experienced rate increases in all five rounds and will now have a rate of $3.25 per hour.
  • 24 block faces (11%) have experienced rate decreases in all five rounds and will now have a rate of $0.75 per hour.
  • 31 block faces (14%) have experienced rate oscillation (at least one increase and one decrease) during the five rounds.
  • 3 block faces (1%) have a rate increase for Round 5 after having a rate decrease in Round 4.
  • 0 block faces (0%) have a rate decrease for Round 5 after having a rate increase in Round 4.

With each round of the study, more block faces are reaching their correct rates. Since the rates are adjusted incrementally; however, it is likely that over 20% of the block faces have not yet reached their correct rate (above $3.25 or below $0.75). 

 

 


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: