SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Soon drivers will have to open their wallets a little wider to park in downtown San Jose after the city council has approved a 33 percent rate increase at downtown garages.

Starting July 1st, parking rates at city-owned garages will go from 75 cents to one dollar an hour, and formerly free parking on Saturdays will now cost you $5. Paid parking on Sunday will come next year.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Some drivers compare the downtown parking rates to Santana Row, the high end-retail area where parking is free.

“When you go to Santana Row you are going to pay for parking, just not in the garage. Your food is going to be more expensive, and you drinks are more expensive,” said Mario Montenegro with Central Parking System, the company that manages San Jose’s parking garages.

He said that even with the rate hike, parking in San Jose is still pretty cheap, especially compared to San Francisco.

“If you go to the city you’re going to pay $20 to $40 to park, and here you’re going to pay $5 if you come in the evenings. That’s a steal,” said Montenegro.

Most downtown business still offer two-hour validations.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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