Tram to charge for parking

Officials consider $5 fee to park at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

PALM SPRINGS, Calif - The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will soon be charging for parking.  It's been a fixture in the valley for 50 years, and to last another 50, the Tramway needs more revenue. 

"In order to not put too much of a strain on our general fund we did decide to create a parking fee," said Tramway spokesperson Lena Smith.

As part of the $1.8 million Valley Station improvement project, the Tramway built this parking kiosk.

"Unfortunately whereever you go anymore you do pay for parking, whether it is at an amusement park or at a museum, just about anywhere you go it is a standard procedure to pay for parking," said Smith. Now you can add the Tramway to that list. 

"I was surprised because it's a public attraction, the rate is steep for a lot of people to get up to the tram," said La Quinta resident Patti Clute.

The Aerial Tramway still has a few dirt parking lots, part of the new parking fee will go towards paving the lots as well as maintaining the others.

"As with everything prices go up, asphalt fees and the labor in order to do that, everything goes up," said Smith.

The Tramway is also responsible for maintaining the road to the Valley Station.  As a not for profit, the tramway doesn't get any state or federal funding.  The only money coming in is from ticket prices and those haven't been increased in several years.

"Because of snow mostly, or lack their of, we did see a dip in ridership," said Smith.

Right now Tram officials are looking at a fee of $5 per car, but that needs to be finalized as does the cost for season pass holders.

"That's a little steep I would think, maybe if it was two it would be fine but I think five is a little steep," said Tram visitor Don Hutton.

"People come up here to enjoy the day and people already pay enough to get up here," said Tram visitor Lisa Flinn.

"I think now, knowing that rate plus the parking, no I don't see myself doing it as often," said Clute.

Tram officials have not set a start date as to when the fee will began, but they do tell us it will be in the near future. 


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