Vail parking rates will remain unchanged for the coming season
But expect a ticket if you take up two parking spaces
There won’t be many changes to Vail’s winter parking program this season. Prices are the same, but people who take two spaces will be more likely to get tickets.
The Vail Parking and Transportation Task Force earlier in September recommended the pricing system for the town structures. Vail Public Works Department Director Greg Hall told the Vail Town Council at its Sept. 21 meeting the town in 2022 will replace its existing parking equipment. With that in mind, the task force recommended keeping rates consistent for the coming winter to avoid confusion.
Parking prices will stay consistent, with one exception: The town is combining its Red and Pink passes. People who bought Red passes — good in the pass-only Red Sandstone parking structure — last year paid $450. Buyers of the Pink pass — good at Ford Park — paid $200 for a season.
The new pass is $350, and good at both Red Sandstone and the outlying areas. With Ford Park closed several days every season for special events, Hall said Pink pass holders can park at the Red Sandstone structure. That structure has 120 spaces available every day, and 160 on weekends, when Red Sandstone Elementary School is closed.
While the Pink pass costs more this season, Council member Jenn Bruno said the price is still less than an ECO Transit pass.
One change parking structure users will see is more tickets for those who park in two spaces.
“Let’s be done with the warnings,” Bruno said, adding that if her teenage son can park in one space, so can everyone else.
While the parking structures won’t see new equipment until 2022, Vail’s buses this year will adopt “smart transit system” equipment. That will enable Wi-Fi service on town buses, and will allow drivers and passengers to have real-time information about passenger loads on individual vehicles. That means if the next bus is full, a rider with a bit of time might be able to wait for another, less full bus.
Locals and visitors will have more transit options this season. While federal regulations still require passengers wear masks — local transit agencies receive federal money, so are subject to those regulations — buses will be able to run at full capacity this season.
In addition, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bustang service is likely to add a fourth daily bus between Vail and Denver. Also in mid-December the department will launch Pegasus, which will provide hourly service on weekends. Pegasus will offer a $20 reserved seat between Vail and Denver. There will be up to 12 Pegasus runs on weekends, Hall said.
“We’re looking forward to regional transit, hopefully giving people great options,” Hall said.
Better transit will be needed if the town is to meet its declared reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
In marketing those goals, town officials want to urge locals and visitors to walk, bike, or take alternative transportation into and out of town. The messaging would also urge those who are able to work from home, if possible, at least one day per week.
Discussing future plans, Council members Brian Stockmar and Kim Langmaid also urged expanding charging options for electric vehicles.
“I’d like to see (charging stations) from Intermountain all the way to East Vail,” Langmaid said.
Here’s a look at rates for parking in Vail’s parking structures this winter:
Up to two hours: Free.
Two to three hours: $10.
Three to four hours: $20.
Four to 15 hours: $30.
15 to 24 hours: $50.