Madison’s Transit and Parking Commission met Tuesday to discuss and pass increases in parking meter and ramp rates, the first system-wide rate increases since January 1997. Although the TPC decided to increase rates, the City Council must review and approve the recommendations.

“There are three categories [of parking] that will be affected over the next three years,” said City Council President and TPC member Ald. Gary Poulson, District 20. “[They include] ramps, street level parking and on-street meters; we’ll have to adjust for each of these components.”

The council decided to increase parking rates in two rounds. These rounds included increased rates set to begin in 2002 and 2003. A proposed third round of additional increases was not adopted.

The increases will raise monthly passes about $5 to $10 and hourly rates by $.10. Some of the adjustments will be phased in over a three-year period.

“It’s time to review [the rates],” Poulson said. “We have to see what it costs us to maintain and operate [the meters and ramps] and adjust them all accordingly.”

Rate increases are necessary to finance future expansions of parking ramps, namely the mid-State Street ramp with entrances on Doty and Wilson Streets, City Parking Manager Robin Williams said.

Recommendations for rate increases will be reported to the City Council for final action Nov. 20.

The TPC hopes to implement the new rates by January 2002.

“We want to get this done by the end of the year,” Poulson said. “It would be the most clean way to start the adjustments at the start of 2002.”