How much does it cost to park? Cincinnati letting the market help decide

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CINCINNATI — How much you have to pay to park in Cincinnati could depend on the demand for your spot.

The city of Cincinnati is increasingly setting rates tied to usage. The city's parking contract with Xerox includes data analytics, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (http://cin.ci/1yGK30U).

New revisions in rates will actually drop rates in some areas, such as down a quarter to 75 cents an hour in some parts of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. But they go up in some places, including up a quarter to $2.25 in the busiest downtown business area.

The rates affect a lot of people, from residents to businesses to the many visitors coming for restaurants, the Cincinnati Reds and other attractions.

It's the second time rates have gone up in three months, and City Manager Harry Black said rates will be reviewed quarterly. Black wants Cincinnati to become a model for using analytics to make city government more effective and efficient.

"The changes reflect the city's recently implemented market-driven approach to handling pricing in the Central Business District and Over-the-Rhine," Black said.

But the rates are also meant to promote space turnover in busy areas.

"If you're willing to walk a few more blocks, then you pay less," said councilman Chris Seelbach. "Part of what supports the parking plan is maximizing the system, and part of that is using data to drive decisions on rates. That is a modernized system."

Parking revenue has become increasingly important to the city, and some money will go to the Cincinnati streetcar construction underway.

The city scrapped an earlier plan to privatize parking in a long-term lease deal.


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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