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Parking competition prompts new airport plan

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Facing the likelihood of new off-site competition, the Indianapolis Airport Authority is stepping up marketing of its parking options.

The authority rolled out a new brand, "ParkIND," on Monday, and President Mike Wells said service enhancements, including more-frequent shuttles, will follow this summer. First, flyers will notice a simplified menu of surface parking. Starting Monday, all surface parking will be labeled as the "economy lot" and will cost $9 per day. That's the same rate that was already available for the lot farthest from the terminal.

The Indianapolis International Airport currently competes with Indy Park, Ride & Fly, which advertises a self-park rate of $8.50 per day.

"Airports across the country have off-airport competition," Wells said.

The airport authority has fought rezoning for a Cincinnati-based company that wants to open Fast Park & Relax. The authority appealed last fall a Marion Superior Court decision that upheld the rezoning and now awaits an appelate-court ruling.

"Chances are at some point in time Fast Park will also be in the business," Wells said.

Parking is an important revenue stream for the airport, and after three years in a newly built terminal, the authority is figuring out how to enhance that revenue. Wells said the airport also is responding to the needs of its customers. 

The airport consolidated surface parking into the existing 6,000-space economy lot because customers said they couldn't discern a difference between "economy" and "long-term" lots. The 4,000-space long-term lot cost $12 per day, but that rate will be eliminated.

The smaller lot will be used primarily for non-customers, but it will be open for overflow situations. 

The standard rate for the terminal garage is $18 per day. Spokesman Carlo Bertolini said that's lower than $22 that was charged in the old terminal garage, which closed in 2008.

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  • Long Term Lot will be missed
    I actually liked the long term lot because I could walk to the terminal through the garage lot, and did not have to hassle with the buses. I don't know what it means now that the long term lot will be used for "non-customers". I will be very disappointed if I am not allowed to park in that lot.
  • Fast Park Clarification
    The Authority has every right to challenge issues in a court of law, but continuing THIS lawsuit is abusive. Even the Authority's own acknowledge there are Private competitors nationwide, and their losing battle harms everyone.
  • Fast Park
    It is disappointing and seems an abuse of our court system that the Airport Authority chose to fight a legal battle against a legitimate businessman. The effort accomplished 1)diminished service for customers 2)expenses and delays for the developer 3)diminished development and revenue generation for businesses that will benefit from the construction of the new garage. So much for the public interest.
    • Airport not in touch
      I live 60 minutes south of the airport and work in Indianapolis. I fly several times a year for business and used to park at the airport until they quite giving discounts to Disabled Veterans. I can now take the shuttle from Bloomington, not have to worry about traffic, and keep my cost lower that parking at the airport. You would think that if you had a business losing money because the cutomers were not buying the last thing you would want to do is eliminate the incentives to buy. Not good business in the long run and those bonds do have to have an income stream to be paid off. I wonder who is going to foot the bill?
    • Agree with Tim
      I used the Economy lot once and vowed to never use it again. First, it took two trips across several aisles between my vehicle to get all of our luggage to the bus stop (dropped family at the terminal and had car seats, etc). Second, several minutes in the cold for the bus to arrive. Once on the bus, it snaked through the numerous empty stops for what seemed like an eternity. Park Ride & Fly picks you up immediately at your car and takes you straight to the airport. They drop you off at your car on return. They often times have coupons online or honor AAA rates to get even cheaper than the $8.50/day. And they have a staffed and fenced lot, which makes my vehicle more secure. If it's a couple day trip or for business, then the garage works, if not, Park Ride & Fly!
    • Problem is buses, not price
      IND's parking problems don't have to do with price - it has to do with the frequency of buses in the long term and economy lots. I use Park Ride & Fly because it ends up taking less time parking offsite than parking on airport property - and it costs less.

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