The 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 now it will head to the Metro Council for approval. Rates to park in the garage would shoot up from $10 to $12 a day, while the rates to park in the lot would tick upward from $7 to $9 daily.

The increased parking rates will still keep Baton Rouge's parking prices below those at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International airport by a few dollars. 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.

In Baton Rouge, the money would go toward improving the first of three airport parking garages that 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 that the garage currently has, and the safety of travelers who enter the garage late at night.

"The lighting is really going to be something we needed, I think for a safety factor," said Commissioner James Dodds, who is an architect.

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