PPA reports $6M loss from suspending fees during coronavirus pandemic

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Parking Authority lost about $6 million in revenue in the last month, after suspending on-street parking fees as part of the city’s coronavirus response.

The PPA agreed to stop charging for airport parking and and factored in the steep drop in on-street revenue. The authority also decided not to send violation notices for old tickets while the city is shut down for COVID-19.

Executive Director Scott Petri says he understood.

"You could see the unemployment numbers were rising rapidly. It might seem a little mean-spirited to send a notice and say, ‘Hey, pay your parking ticket,'" Petri said.

But it has come at a price. And that will ultimately impact the city and school district, which share the revenue from those fees and fines.

"It’s totally unprecedented, obviously. It’s awful for everybody," he said.

Petri says some expenses will be deferred to soften the blow, and he expects some losses will be made up when the stay at home restrictions are lifted, but he won’t guess how much.

"It’s just impossible to do so until you know when there’s going to be some alleviation on the stay-at-home restrictions," Petri said. 

There’s one area where losses were not as sharp as predicted: red light camera fines. Fewer drivers are on the road, but apparently they are running red lights with greater abandon.