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Parking Price Hikes Could Hurt Service Industry in NOLA

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Restaurant workers in the French Quarter would be hardest hit.

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New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu recently announced plans to double the cost of parking in the Quarter (and raise it to $2/hour everywhere else in NOLA) and extend pay-to-park hours until 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday starting in 2016. But one of the city's largest employment sectors—the service industry—will likely be hardest hit if and when Landrieu's proposal comes to fruition.

As Cane & Table owner Nick Detrich points out in a Times-Pic op-ed today, many service industry workers rely on free parking after 6 p.m., as the majority of these workers do not live in the Quarter and risk their safety while waiting for 'inconsistent buses' or expensive cabs in the wee hours of night:

For myself, if I were to pay for a cab only one way each shift I worked that would equate to more than $5,000 annually ($20 or more for a taxi to Algiers Point).If a French Quarter service worker were to work five 10 hour shifts a week, and paid for parking each shift, that would equate to $3,900 annually. Doubling that — as the city is planning — would bring the total to an annual sum of $7,800. That is more than the majority of service industry in the French Quarter — let alone the city — can afford to pay.

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