Memphis Central Station Parking Fee

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by trainboy325, Oct 20, 2019.

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  1. Oct 20, 2019 #1

    trainboy325

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    trainboy325

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    I just checked in for my trip to California tonight at the Memphis station and was greeted with new LAZ App Parking signs.

    According to the Amtrak agent, the signs just went up and the price is $24 for self park a day. The fee is in conjunction with the conversion of the former IC Central Station complex into a hotel and restaurant. Agent Tony said the whole thing happened without any notice to Amtrak, even though they are a tenant of the complex and had been given updates regarding the project in the past. The fee goes into effect once the hotel opens for business in November.

    If anyone is planning a future trip into or out of Memphis on 58/59, please be aware of this major change!

    I will inquire with the MEM station staff upon my return on November 1st if any additional information is provided regarding parking rates or availability for Amtrak passengers when the hotel does open.
     
  2. Oct 20, 2019 #2

    merkelman06

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    merkelman06

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    I travel out of Memphis several times a year and have always enjoyed free parking at Central Station. I don’t mind paying for parking, but $24 per day is a bit excessive in my opinion. A week trip would be $168 in parking charges, more than a round trip ticket to NOL or CHI. Seems like the new hotel is forgetting that it is still an active train station with trains coming through twice a day.
     
  3. Oct 20, 2019 #3

    seat38a

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    seat38a

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    But if the parking lot is the hotel's property, why would they care if a train comes though however many times a day?
     
  4. Oct 20, 2019 #4

    merkelman06

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    merkelman06

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    The thing is, the parking lot is not the hotel’s property. The entire building and parking lot are owned by the Memphis Area Transit Authority. The hotel is a tenant of the building just like Amtrak. There is also a train museum and a restaurant and bar. MATA, the building owner, was not made aware of the changes either. Amtrak also moved their ticket office and waiting room. It is now the hotel lobby and check in desk.
     
  5. Oct 22, 2019 #5

    Anderson

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    Anderson

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    It sounds very much like there's a sloppy lease agreement here. It's up there with the mess at RVR that led to the multi-year existence of a free parking lot next to the main (pay) lot due to a question of who was going to deal with what with the parking lot expansion.
     
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  6. Oct 22, 2019 #6

    seat38a

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    seat38a

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    I agree. I just can't fathom a hotel would sign a lease on a property without taking parking with it.
     
  7. Oct 22, 2019 #7

    Anderson

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    Anderson

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    So, to take a guess at what happened: The local authority still "has" the parking lot, but they agreed to let the hotel use it and the hotel got a no-compete arrangement of some sort which in turn means that they got stuck raising their rates to match the hotel. The authority isn't complaining (on the presumption of more money) and obviously the hotel would want the arrangement or they'd be missing out on parking income.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2019 #8

    trainboy325

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    trainboy325

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    I returned from my trip from California arriving off of 59 the morning of November 1. After claiming my checked bags, the agent on duty gave me some updates on the parking situation at Memphis Central Station for Amtrak passengers.

    First of all, the issue is apparently due to a lack of clarity in the lease agreement of the Memphis Central Station building from MATA (Memphis Area Transportation Administration) and the Hotel operator. It is Amtrak’s legal position that as a tenant of MATA to operate the ticket and baggage service for the City of New Orleans, they are not subject to any of the rules and restrictions issued by the hotel operator in the operation of their lease as the hotel operator. As a result, the addition of 30 “Amtrak Passengers Parking Only” signs have been added adjacent to the platform, but the local Amtrak management has referred the parking and passenger access issues to the Government Affairs office to work out. Amtrak is asking MATA for free unrestricted free access for Amtrak passengers and staff of the parking lot and outdoor areas for baggage service. The 30 spaces are not sufficient to accommodate the 80,000 plus annual passengers per year at MEM which MATA provided 300 free spaces to Amtrak for their passengers prior to the hotel project.
     

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