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Rate Hike Proposed For Philadelphia Parking Meters

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Get out your quarters: the Parking Authority plans to raise the rates on parking meters in areas outside of center city and University City.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA)wants to raise the meter rates by about 50 cents per hour, though the precise amount may vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

None of this affects the core of center city and University City, where multi-space kiosks are used rather than the old-style meter.

Councilman Curtis Jones introduced the measure today at the behest of the PPA.  He says the additional money -- estimated at $1 million a year -- will be earmarked by law to go to the cash-starved school district.

"What we're looking at is every quarter we can find in the couch -- and in this case, the meters -- to assist the school district," Jones said today.  "Every little bit helps, and we're looking at this as another way to support public education."

Parking Authority officials did not respond to our calls seeking comment.  In an earlier interview with KYW Newsradio, PPA executive director Vince Fennerty said meter rates outside of center city hadn't been raised, in some cases, in 20 years.  He said the higher rates would encourage more parking turnover in local business districts.

An official with the Manayunk Development Corporation said she was unaware of the proposal and deferred comment.

Any rate increase must be approved by City Council, and Jones' measure will be debated in committee.


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