San Francisco International Airport is raising its garage rates at the international terminal by 20 percent to try to free up spots. (AP file photo)San Francisco International Airport is raising its garage rates at the international terminal by 20 percent to try to free up spots. (AP file photo)

SFO increases parking fee to open up spots

Passengers departing out of San Francisco International Airport for foreign locales will soon be paying a little extra to keep their cars at the hub.

Overnight parking rates at SFO’s international garage are set to increase by 20 percent — from $20 to $24 — starting next year. Rates at the international garage have remained steady since 2007, and as a result finding a parking spot in the structure has become increasingly more difficult.

Occupancy levels in the garage are routinely more than 80 percent — sometimes climbing as high as 95 percent, according to airport statistics. Motorists who want to park their cars for just a few minutes while they pick up or drop off passengers are having a whole lot of trouble finding available spots.

Airport spokesman Michael McCarron said that increasing the overnight rates will reduce capacity enough to open up more spots for hourly parkers, particularly during peak times.

“We think the $4 increase will cut down overnight demand to the point that more spots are open during the day,” said McCarron.

Even with the price hikes, SFO’s garage rates are still cheap by regional standards. Motorists spend $30 to park overnight at the San Jose airport’s international garage, and $32-$36 at the Oakland airport’s garages.

SFO’s parking garages have been a funding bonanza for the hub in recent years. Revenue from the international garage has increased by 40 percent in the past three years — rising from $13.6 million in the 2008 fiscal year to $19.1 million in the 2011 fiscal year.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco International Airport Commission approved the rate increases. They will go into effect Jan. 10.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

SFO’s international parking garage

$20 Current overnight rate

$24 Overnight rate starting Jan. 10

$6 Hourly parking rate

Source: SFO

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