Charleston parking garage fees upped

metro- The parking garage next to the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium on Calhoun Street.( Leroy Burnell/staff

Leroy Burnell

If the charges look different in City of Charleston parking garages recently it’s because they have gone up in places.

In an effort to make rates uniform in all 13 of the garages run by the city, the hourly rate has been made the same across the board.

As it now stands, that means the citywide rate is $2 an hour, up to a maximum of $16 a day.

Monthly passes are at $125.

Steve Bedard, finance director for the city, didn’t term the change as a rate increase, but instead called the alterations more of a “clean up of what we had.” He added “I think we are competitively priced.”

Parking is one of the biggest issues facing downtown as the city’s popularity grows. Bedard said the city may be looking at sites to add new garages downtown but admits they remain sensitive topics around local neighborhoods. He also said the city is reluctant to issue more monthly garage passes, saying it would eat into the “transient” car spaces needed to accommodate day visitors.

Charleston County government, meanwhile, operates two parking garages downtown, the Cumberland Street garage and the one at King and Queen streets, next to the Judicial Center.

The county’s most recent rate increase was in 2008 when transient parking rates went to $1 per half-hour, with a $20 daily maximum, a spokesman said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.