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Parking permit prices may go up – especially for houses with more than 1 car

PPA permit

A bill to increase residential parking permit prices has been approved by a City Council committee, and households with multiple cars would be hit exponentially harder.

For the first car, the price of a permit renewal would go from $20 to $35 a year (it’s $35 for the first year now). The second car’s permit would cost $50, the third $75 and the fourth $100.

Rick Dickson, deputy executive director of the Parking Authority, told Newsworks:

The cost increase should encourage people to consider whether they really need more than one car, Dickson said.

“This is not to tell people you should not have a car, we just think if you have multiple cars and are taking up more curb space, there should be some cost associated with it than just having one vehicle in a household,” he said.

The bill still has to be approved by the full City Council, so it’s not a done deal. But what do you think about this bill anyway? Is it fair for a permit for one car to cost more than another?




43 Responses to Parking permit prices may go up – especially for houses with more than 1 car

  1. Christine October 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    All about it. Folks with 3 and 4 cars are always the first to complain about the lack of parking in the neighborhood without ever thinking about their contribution to it. It’s insanely cheap to park your car on the street for a year, I would support raising the fee by a lot more. I only wish a) that the City and not the PPA were the recipient of the funds and b) PPA would do something about cracking down on handicapped spots that are unused or abused.

  2. AM October 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Love it. There are houses on my block with 5 cars – one for each family member. They should pay a premium to take up that much parking.

  3. Jillian October 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Agreed!!!!! My one car household can never find a spot but someone else on my block has 3 and they always seem to have a good spot!

  4. Greg October 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    I don’t understand why anyone would be in favor of giving any more money than absolutely essential to a group of people that clearly have no discipline or concern with how it is spent or who spends it….

  5. Kyle October 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    This is excellent.

  6. c.g. October 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    My first thought is – bring it!
    My second thought is – oh no, what if those people with multiple cars just decide to not get additional permits and then take up all the space on streets that are “free zones” like mine? I have a permit, but when my boyfriend/friends/family drive into the city to visit it’s nice there’s an option that doesn’t leave them moving their car every two hours.
    I’m still for the increase for multiple cars, though.

  7. Ashley October 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Fully support this.

  8. Jon Geeting October 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    The first parking permit should be at least $100. That’s how much it is in Easton, PA, where their transit system sucks and they don’t have nearly as many neighborhood businesses and services. No excuse for Philly’s to be that cheap.

    The second parking permit should be at least $500, and $2000 for each additional permit. You really don’t need a car here in the first place, let alone 2 or 3 or 4 cars. If you have that many, the price for *curb* parking should tip you toward paying monthly for garage storage. The curb price for the 2nd and 3rd car needs to be higher than the annual price for a garage.

    • Gia October 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      I work 45 minutes away from my house… I’m pretty sure I need my car and shouldn’t have to pay additional money because I have two cars in my household!

  9. Leanne October 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    GOOD!!! I don’t even own a car, but there are people on my block with 3 and 4 cars. When I have a friend or family member visit they can’t find a spot, but these people will stop at nothing to have their cars all together, in a row, in front of their house, including saving spots with cones and folding chairs. If you need to have your hoard of cars – or even one car – in front of your house at all times, move to the suburbs where they have driveways!

  10. Danielle October 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I have to disagree on this. I live in a household that has 4 cars. We all use our cars daily and need them to compute to and from work. We are not the type of people who complain about parking up our block – or are picky about where we park. What annoys me about this is that regardless of the permit or how many cars we have in our house – even when we were a two car house hold there was still not enough parking. We still have issues with people parking in the area to take the subway (they have permit 24, but are not actual residents of the immediate area). We also have issues with people who take up two spots because they don’t want their car to get “bumped” when someone else is parking. We have issues with people who own HUGE SUVS and live up small street so they part on main streets. I live off of Passyunk and often have people park who are dinning out and visiting the area – I encourage the traffic as it has helped our neighborhood We all pay for a permit – it has nothing to do with an actual spot. Taking more money from the people that live in the area because they are a multi-car home is ridiculous. Why don’t we measure the spots like they do at the shore points – maybe if people learned how to park we could save up some space.

    • Crystal October 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

      Seeing as how you must enter the address to which your car is registered, and you must have proof of address, and this is how your zone is determined, it’s highly unlikely that people are flooding zone 24 just to get to the subway.

      • henry October 9, 2013 at 8:34 am #

        it’s true. I knew people who lived in Pennsport who would park on 13th St. to take the subway into Center City. But people doing the park & ride thing, as annoying as it is, aren’t really the problem. No one every drives around in circles at noon looking for a place to park. It’s always at 6pm when everyone gets home from work because they’re too precious to take the train to their job at Temple or Penn.

      • Patricia October 9, 2013 at 10:40 am #

        Actually, since zone 24 takes in from 6th street to Broad, the people from 6th, 7th, 8th, can drive out to near Broad and park all day for free near a Subway stop and not have to walk or take a bus. So, no, not flooding zone 24, but making it difficult for those who live closer to the subway stops.

  11. Chelsea October 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Love this.
    This is the next best thing to putting a restriction on the number of cars a household can have. I am just as entitled to park close to my house as a neighbor who has 3 cars and is taking up spots that could have potentially had my car a short distance to my front door. Added bonus is when family and friends visit.
    I don’t mind the price hike one bit.
    Agree that it should go to the city or to ensuring that PPA get all REAL offenders out of illegal spots.

    • Gia October 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      A restriction on the number of cars in each household??? Silly me, I thought we lived in a free county!??

      • Lucho October 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm #


        Go back to Civics class. Where in the US Constitution does it mention guaranteed free “public” parking.

        Nothing is stoppipng you from purchasing and owning as many cars as you want (other than your available finances). However, there most certainly is a limit on space in which to park said cars in the PUBLIC realm. If you lived in the burbs and had ample private land you could fill your driveway and yard up with cars Beverly HillBilly’s style.

        The pulbic roadways are shared and managed by our elected leaders and their appointed agencies. If you want that changed, elect new leaders.

        The ridiculously cheap cost to park on the street has created this perceived lack of parking and the associated issues of car dependence and a relative lack of other tranpsportation options.

        • Gia October 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

          I paid quite a lot of attention in civics class. I was commenting on the notion that an individual household should be restricted from owning more than one car in every household. If we continue to let government tax and control every aspect of our lives then in essence we continue to chip away at our notion of freedom bit by bit.

          I live right off of passyunk ave. if I come home after 7pm I will have to drive around for at least 30 minutes to look for a space. My question is why do I have to absorb more cost (after increased property taxes and city wage tax) simply because I live in a two car household. I will guarantee that even if the prices for a parking permit are raised it will not alleviate the parking issues in south Philadelphia

          • SC October 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

            You are absorbing more cost because you are using more resources.

            • Abby October 10, 2013 at 8:27 am #


  12. Jo October 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    If you have 5 cars you are taking up 1/3 of the block. Do you own 1/3 of the houses? People with more than 1 car should pay for seasonal spots in parking garages (even if it means you have to take the subway to get to your car).

  13. Barb October 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Maybe you should do a story on the people who save spotS on permit streets!!!

  14. P October 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Yeah, we sure don’t pay enough taxes to live in the city already. What’s another bill?

  15. Crystal October 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    This is probably the best thing I’ve ever heard of. Also, I agree with other commenters that the fee for one car should be higher. Parking and driving should come at a premium in a city where it’s mostly unnecessary. We have a car now, but I lived in this city for 6 years without a car, with a carshare membership, and did perfectly fine.

  16. Gia October 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    I can’t even begin to express my outrage at this. I also am not sure if I am more upset at the proposed price increase or the fact that people support this initiative. I already find it absurd that we have to pay to park on city streets in the first place. Do our suburban brethren have to pay to park in thier driveways? This city nickels and dimes us at every opportunity they can get and yet people applaud. Why should honest, hard working people who (god forbid) own more than one car be punished because they choose to have the freedom of owning a second car. Once again our city looks for a quick fix. Let’s not address the fact that there are a multitude of handicap parking spots held by non handicapped people or that I see so many jersey tags with parking stickers on a daily basis. Or let’s try an even simpler task of marking parking spots. Most of the time there is a lack of parking spots because people take up two spaces. Overall, people need to realize that you choose to live in the city therefore parking is not always readily available. I feel that if this bill passes we will loose more people to the suburbs and our once great city will continue to decline!

    • Angela October 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      “I already find it absurd that we have to pay to park on city streets in the first place. Do our suburban brethren have to pay to park in thier driveways?”

      Yes, of course they do. They have to buy the property. Public streets are owned by the city, maintained (albeit poorly) by the city, and responsibility for them is shared among all taxpayers, even the ones without cars. By that metric, why not ask why YOU expect other people to pay for YOUR parking spots? (And to be clear, by “your parking spot” I still mean public property.)

      “I feel that if this bill passes we will loose more people to the suburbs and our once great city will continue to decline!”

      People who feel they need half a dozen cars SHOULD move to the city. Not all lifestyles are compatible with urban living. You can’t own a horse in the city, either, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers owe you a barn.

      • Emms October 8, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

        Technically, you CAN own a horse in the city. There are just a lot of rules to it. For good reason.

      • Gia October 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

        I Do not expect anyone to pay for me. I work like a dog on a daily basis to make ends meet. I still have to pay a city wage tax and increased property taxes. Why then should I have to pay more money just because I have to have 2 cars so that everyone can get to work. I have a parking permit yet I still have to pay meters on broad street or passyunk or in center city. When you add all that up on a yearly basis I’m sure it already exceeds the proposed increase for a parking permit. My point therefore is why do I have to continue to put money out for an organization who continues to mismanage funds. If they want to increase the fee I’m fine with that. I’m annoyed that I have to be penalized by the number of cars in my house.

        • Abby October 10, 2013 at 8:35 am #

          Because street parking is a finite resource and we all have to share it. That’s why.

          I’d be super annoyed if I lived on a block where one house was habitually taking up most of the parking spots (not saying you do with only two cars). Can you park two cars in front of your house within the property lines? How about 3? Doubt that very much. Buy a house with a garage if you don’t like the permit fees. I think they are more than reasonable as they are considering the scarcity of the resource.

          • SC October 10, 2013 at 8:59 am #

            Exactly. Even if a household could own a spot, it would only be one spot. Or, in the case of my street, and many others, half a spot since you can only park on one side. See how having two-plus cars is problematic for your neighbors?

    • Crystal October 9, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      As stated earlier, your parking permit zone is based on the address at which your car is registered, so it is not possible to obtain a parking permit with an out of state license. It is highly unlikely that you see “so many jersey tags with parking stickers”.

      • Patricia October 9, 2013 at 10:44 am #

        Yeah, well, you’d be surprised. I see it all too often. I guess some people are just better at gaming the system.

    • Dan P. October 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      I’m curious about how one can “take up two spaces.” On my block there aren’t any lines or anything delineating the spaces. What I suspect you’re seeing is that in the normal course of cars coming and going, a car that originally parked snugly between two cars now has half or 3/4 of a car length of space on the front or back because how others parked. That’s the reason why when park at the end of the row I always make sure my front or back bumper is directly lined up with the sign that marks where the end of the parking on the block is (if not a couple inches over that line). I guess the solution to that problem would be painting lines to mark spaces but since some cars (pick up trucks, SUVs) are larger than others you’d have to make the spaces long enough for the longest cars which would end up wasting a ton of space when smaller cars park in them.

  17. Anthony October 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    I really do not mind the price increase. I have owned my home in south philly for over 15 years, I have a car, and have a room mate who has a car. We both pay for a permit. But we still have a problem finding parking in the area. I have searched for more than a half hour before I found a spot that was 5 blocks from my home.

    I just have a few things that we should consider before we jump down our neighbors throats for having more than one car.

    What about the people with cars that live in the neighborhood who do not pay for a permit because they don’t register their cars in the city to save on costs.

    Take a walk down the street and count the New Jersey license plates.

    What about people who don’t live in the city but work here. Shouldn’t they have to pay to park.

    We have alot of hospitals, schools and business that bring people here that have to park, they should have to pay as well.

    How about people who park in south philly for free all day then take the subway in to the city to work.

    The parking authority offers a visitors pass for $15 for 15 days. Maybe there should be other temporary permits available for different situations. Why should people who actually pay for permits be the ones that are charged more.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not a big fan of the PPA, but if you are going to propose something that will affect many residents of philadelphia, shouldn’t everything be considered.

    • Lucho October 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm #


      I think you make a ton of good points.
      I do disagree with you on your assertion that the PPA should conder theese items first. My primary reason for disagreeing is that they are separate issues as I describe below.

      People who live in teh neighborhood and dont pay for a permit or register their cars are committing fraud (most likely against the insurance company). They may or may not get caught, but this is a separate issue. With a few exceptions, your car should be insured where its registered.

      People who work here should either pay (in a garage) or street park, but there aren’t nearly as many issues of parking during the day (atleast in East Passyunk) as there are at night.

      For the most part, parking near the BSL during the day is difficult as it is mostly permit near Broad St. If people want to park and ride, they should consider parking at the stadiums (that would be a huge revenue stream for the city).

      I think there should be an easier guest permit mechanism. I agree with you more on this than anything else. It should not require a trip to PPA, it should be internet based. If the post office can do online stamps, then PPA should be able to do online guest permits.That being said, the cost is appropriate as a gues is adding ANOTHER car to the streets and taking away a spot from a permit holding resident.

      The fact is, parking is super scarce and the cost associated doesn’t reflect that scarcity. Its simple economics and people are reacting as if it is some fundamental right.

  18. Trent October 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    This is a side tangent that has been brought up above, but there are MANY people who park in our neighborhood to take the subway. I see some of them on the BSL in the morning that I know from work “oh, you live around here?”- the answer is no, I just park here to take the subway.

    I don’t really understand all the scams, whether they can just find parking on free blocks, or whether it is some shady permit situation, but it happens a lot.

  19. wb October 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Anthony makes some fantastic comments.

    It is more frustrating when I see people saving parking spots on city streets, especially in the summer when they did not shovel themselves a spot.

    It is frustrating that my neighbors have 4 cars (but only 2in the house) and they have their cars registered using their shore addresses so they dont have to pay higher.

    It is annoying that if parking isnt available on my unpermitted street my friend who comes over for dinner and a movie has a difficult time with parking and I would need to pay $15 to have them there for a few hours.

  20. Kevin October 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    lol, if a family can afford 5 cars, do you really think a $100 is going to make them rethink things…”ohhh i better not buy another car, bc after the 20k price, i can’t afford a permit”…charge the hell out of them, raise some money.

  21. Emms October 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Why didn’t they do this sooner? If anything, these rates are too low.

  22. Crystal October 9, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    A couple commenters have made some pretty silly claims, and are clearly just upset at the prospect of having to pay a fair price to park their mostly unneccesary vehicles. If you feel that you require multiple cars on a daily basis, you may need to rethink urban living. Parking is a privlige, not a right. You do not own any portion of the street. A rowhome is not 100 feet wide$35/year is an absurdly low price for such a high commodity. If people are parking in Zone 24 to take the subway, they live in Zone 24. That’s how getting a permit works. These people just also happen to be lazy, and that is another problem altogether.

  23. Dan P. October 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Totally agree with @Lucho on that last point. Parking in urban areas is a scarce good and should be priced as such. For my more conservative friends, this is actually a case where government is simply using market forces in an attempt to establish an equilibrium between supply and demand. When demand exceeds supply, as it does here at the current price (either $20/year or free depending on the block) then there will be a shortage. The solution is to raise the price so that the quantity demanded goes down (can’t really affect supply in this situation) until it equals the quantity supplied.

    It’s unfortunate that the agency doing this has such a bad reputation and is unlikely to return that extra revenue to the neighborhood in the form of improved services or improvements to transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure that make it less necessary to have a car because it really is a logical public policy.

    The price is also probably a bit too low as some commenters have pointed out but on the margins it will have some effect. There will be one or two people out there for whom this tips the decision to finally get rid of that 86 Oldsmobile that barely runs but has been taking up a spot. For others it may make them decide to move to the suburbs. That’s a rational choice and it frees up their home for someone who wants to live in the city even with the high price of parking (because they only have one car or don’t need a car). Judging from the prices on the listings, demand for homes in South Philly continues to be strong.

    Finally, I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of making it easier to purchase temporary guest permits. There’s a value to them as well.

  24. nicki October 26, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    I have a neighbor, (if that’s what you want to call him) in the 1500 block of south 4th street that has 3 cars, one which doesn’t start without a screwdriver and a large cargo work van. Two of the cars sit every day, he doesn’t drive them, or can’t because they don’t run. He then parks his running cars in front of everyone else door. The quality of life is really affected by this inconsiderate person. He even park these non-moving cars in front of other people doors. I know his stickers have to be illegal because the cars are old and don’t start without manual assistance, such as a screwdriver. Does anyone have any solution for a peaceful resolution. Oh, and we have tried talking to his about it, but he seems to get some sort of weird satisfaction doing this.

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