Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport wants to increase prices in its parking garages and lots by $2 a day to help pay for $5 million in upgrades to the parking garage.
The Airport Commission approved the price increase Tuesday, and it now goes to the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council for approval. Rates to park in the garage would rise from $10 to $12 a day, while rates for the lot would tick upward from $7 to $9 daily.
The price increase would go into effect April 1.
The increased parking rates will still keep Baton Rouge’s parking prices below those at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
The short-term parking garage in New Orleans charges $18.50 a day, the long-term parking garage charges $15 a day and a credit card lot next to the rental car facility charges $11 a day. Parking at Lafayette Regional Airport costs $16 a day for short term, $8 a day for long term and $5 a day for a credit card lot.
Baton Rouge Airport Director Anthony Marino said he is not worried that the extra cost of parking at the airport will turn off travelers because “we’re still well below New Orleans.”
In Baton Rouge, the money would go toward improving the first of three airport parking garages travelers enter when they turn into the airport’s public parking options. The second garage is connected to the first, while the third garage houses rental cars.
The improvements to the 21-year-old parking garage will give it more structural stability and add better lighting to it. Airport officials and commissioners said they were concerned about the shadowy lighting the garage has and the safety of travelers late at night. “The lighting is really going to be something we needed, I think, for a safety factor,” said Commissioner James Dodds, an architect. “Structurally, it’s an aged garage.”
The additional money also will go toward water proofing the garage, and airport officials hope to build up a small surplus from the money left over for future parking improvements.
Marino said the airport wants to bond the $5 million for the garage improvements. All the money collected from the $2 price hike will go toward paying off the improvements aside from what has to be paid in taxes, rather than the airport taking a commission from it.