Naperville City Council could switch Metra parking lot fees from permit to daily pay

The Naperville City Council will begin amending its commuter rail parking lot permit policy, making the move to transition to daily parking fees in the coming months.

After voting to eliminate the parking permit system at the Route 59 and Naperville/Fourth Avenue Metra rail stations in March, City Council members are expected to now review those amendments and consider a daily rate at its Tuesday meeting.

Under a revised plan, commuters would instead have to pay only for the days they park. City staff said the move was proposed because of regional trends and current occupancy data that shows commuting patterns are different than they were several years ago.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed how frequently people commute to downtown Chicago, city staff was working to address the problem of spaces not be used in permit lots.

“Permit spaces at both stations are often empty and could be used more effectively if they were available to a wider group of commuters,” staff said.

Pending approval, the Parkview, DuPage Children’s Museum, 190 E. 5th Avenue and Burlington Lots at the Naperville station would cost $5 per day under the fee structure. The remaining on-street parking spaces at the Naperville station and at the Route 59 station would cost $2 per day.

Commuters would pay for parking spaces using the kiosks at the stations or by using the PayByPhone app.

Dec. 31 is the last day that quarterly permits can be used, according to information from the city.

In February 2020, there were 1,090 permit holders at the Route 59 lot versus 249 permit holders in July 2023, according to city data.

An updated commuter survey in September 2022 indicated that 55% of commuters ride Metra one to three days per week. People who are not commuting by Metra, but would like to, said they are concerned about parking availability and the cost of parking. Most respondents said they do not have a quarterly permit.

Council members are expected to take a final vote on the amendment at the Sept. 5 City Council meeting.