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St. Augustine Beach parking could cost you

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Parking at St. Augustine Beach could soon cost you.

The St. Augustine Beach Commission unanimously voted to charge for parking on A1A  Beach Boulevard. The Mayor and commissioners say they would like to have this implemented by July.

Most popular beaches, like Jacksonville Beach already charge to park. The goal for St. Augustine is to have pay-to-park systems set up at the pier, as long as the county approves.

Why the Change

City leaders say the money will be used to maintain the pier. 

The commissioners say the parking system is expected to generate around $600,000 in revenue for St. Augustine Beach- before expenses, including hiring parking staff which would be about 100,000.

“This is an opportunity. We are really thinking outside of the box and I’m really excited we’re going to have a source of funds so that we can enhance other pedestrian parking services and facilities,” said Undine George, Mayor of St. Augustine Beach.

How Much is Parking

Rates would be $2.50 an hour. The parking areas would be located in the A Street area, as well as 10th Street.

George says there’s an app they are hoping to implement called ‘Passport’.  It’s a system that is used by other Florida cities and alerts both the driver and parking staff when their paid-time expires. For the city it’s cheaper than paying for meters.

The app also has the ability to charge custom rates, meaning locals may have the option to pay a less expensive rate-per-hour than tourists.

Why Locals Aren't Happy

“I don’t think it’s right,” said Ryan Morgan, a local beach-goer.

The mayor said he understands that nobody wants to pay for anything if they are used to getting it for free. 

“Most of our tourists are shocked when they are not required to pay for parking,” said George.
 
Sydney Jones, another beach-goer said she was one of those people surprised by the free parking when she arrived.

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