New Metro parking fees set to begin, McKay not happy with changes

Huntington train

New parking fees at a number of Metro stations — including Huntington and Franconia-Springfield — begin on Monday, and one local politician is not happy with some of the changes.

Metro will now charge for parking earlier on weekdays, add a new fee for parking on Saturdays, and raise prices for non-Metro riders who use the lots at many stations, including Huntington and Franconia-Springfield. Metro says the new parking rules are estimated to generate approximately $4 million in additional revenue.

The non-rider daily parking fee will now be $8.95 at both Huntington and Franconia-Springfield, as compared with $4.95 for Metro riders.

Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay said he was particularly disappointed the decision to implement fees for non-Metro users at the Franconia-Spingfield, and described the entire rollout of new parking fees as “poorly thought out” and counterintuitive. 

“While I understand the need for increasing revenue, this plan will do the opposite,” McKay said in a statement released Friday. 

McKay wants Franconia-Springfield non-riders exempted from the higher daily fee, since the garage is used by both Virginia Railway Express and Metro riders. McKay invoked supply-and-demand principles in his argument, saying that the Franconia-Springfield garage isn’t close to capacity, and that if anything, prices should be lowered to encourage more use. 

“The Franconia-Springfield Station’s parking structure is only at 65 percent capacity most days so why in the world would we want to charge more?” said McKay, who is also a commissioner and past chairman for the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. “Our joint Metro-VRE station is the only such station in the [c]ounty, and this move will hurt the many VRE passengers who choose to park there.”

Riders can also now expect to be charged $2 for parking on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m., while non-riders will need to fork over $8.95 on Saturdays.

Parking fees will also begin two hours earlier in the morning at Huntington and Franconia-Springfield, and go an hour later on Fridays. You will have to now pay to park between these hours:

  • Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
  • Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

If you don’t use a SmartTrip card to pay for parking, you’ll probably want to reconsider that if possible. Riders who pay with a credit card or debit card (including a commuter benefits card issued by an employer) will now play the non-rider fee of $8.95. You must also use the same SmartTrip card to pay for parking that you used to enter/exit the station.  

More information on the new fees can be found on the WMATA website

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  1. Eleanor Foddrell