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RDU garage daily parking fee will rise Monday

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Some travelers will pay more to park their cars at Raleigh-Durham International Airport starting Monday, when the daily parking garage fee rises from $10 to $12.

Other parking rates will not change, RDU said: $2 per hour in the daily section of the garage (where $12 is the new daily maximum), $1 per hour in the hourly section of the garage ($24 per day maximum), and $6 per day in the park-and-ride lots.

Parking provides RDU's biggest single source of revenues.  The rate increase will help the publicly owned airport pay for the $570 million Terminal 2 and for a planned overhaul of Terminal 1.  The daily rate was increased to $10 in 2004.


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I'm a park-and-ride fan

If you park close enough to one of the park-and-ride bus stops, you do less walking than if you parked in the garage between the terminals.  Especially true of the long walk from garage to the north end of Terminal A.

Parking? We don't need no steenking parking!

Just kidding. I've parked at RDU many times. But I want to make a plug for the TTA bus (#100) which I've recently been using.

This bus runs straight from RDU to downtown Raleigh (or RDU to Durham, if going west). $2.00, or free if you are an employee of one of the universities or of some local businesses. Amazingly clean, on time, and plenty of room for bags. I've taken it twice, and it was a wonder. If you live on the bus path or near downtown Raleigh or downtown Durham, this is a slam dunk. You can check the bus schedule at the airport or on the excellent TTA website, but I was surprised how often it runs and how fast it moves, not substantially slower than driving. Last time I took the bus one-way and took a cab home, and saved lots of money over parking.

airport parking

Can also reserve a cab.


Of course, they may dump your reservation if a more lucrative fare calls in.

This is one of those cases

This is one of those cases where I'm just a sucker, because I will pay for the convenience of being in walking distance to the terminals. I'm particularly glad after the return flight to be able to walk to the car and not have to wait on a shuttle.

Beware park and ride

A couple of years ago my wife missed her flight the day before our wedding because of the way they run economy parking at RDU.  Basically they changed their shuttle schedule from every 20 minutes to every 45 minutes (later claiming this was due to budget cuts) without changing the signs posted in the parking lots.  After 40 minutes of waiting for the shuttle she panicked, changed to garage parking, missed her flight anyway, got put on standby, and finally made it on the last flight of the day when another passenger else gave up his seat as an act of kindness.

Meanwhile, private lots around RDU like Preflight and Fast Park offer frequent shuttles and great service for around $5 a day.  When the private sector is so much more efficient than the public sector at offering a simple service like parking, then that's a sign that something is very, very wrong and needs fixing.

If the airport needs more funding to pay for operations, then they ought to cover the cost directly with ticket fees, not indirectly with parking fees.

Airport Parking

That's why I park off airport. Better rates and better service.

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About the blogger

Bruce Siceloff reports on traffic and transportation. A News & Observer reporter, editor and blogger since 1976, he took over the Road Worrier column in 2003. Lately he drives I-40 with the cruise control set at 68 mph. You can e-mail Bruce, call him at 919-829-4527, check out his Crosstown Traffic blog or follow him (@Road_Worrier) on Twitter.