CARTA board to discuss downtown Chattanooga’s on-street parking rates at Thursday’s meeting

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / On Wednesday, a parking ticket is seen on a car downtown.

This story was updated Sept. 22 at 2 a.m. to restore it to its original version.

The CARTA board of directors is scheduled to discuss downtown Chattanooga’s on-street parking rates at its monthly meeting Thursday.

The meeting will be at 10 a.m. in the CARTA board room at 1617-B Wilcox Blvd.

The discussion will include a breakdown of on-street parking rates of surrounding cities, according to a news release issued by the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority. CARTA oversees more than 2,000 on-street parking spaces downtown, according to the authority’s website.

The Chattanooga City Council has given CARTA, which also serves as the Chattanooga Parking Authority, the power to increase parking rates up to $1 per half hour, according to the city’s code of ordinances. Current rates sit at 50 cents per half hour up to two hours. The maximum parking time allowed for on-street parking is two hours.

Any proceeds from fees can only be used for parking regulation enforcement, parking safety precautions, installation and maintenance of parking equipment, and operation of the downtown shuttle service, the ordinance says.

It’s unclear if the CARTA board will consider an increase in rates at Thursday’s meeting.

CARTA interim Executive Director Jeff Smith could not be reached by phone or email Wednesday afternoon to determine the specifics of Thursday’s discussion.

Residents are allowed to speak at CARTA’s monthly meetings. An individual speaker, however, is not allowed to appear before the board more than two times during any consecutive four-month period, and no more than three people can speak on any one topic during a meeting, according to a resolution passed by the CARTA board in 2018.

Since taking office, Mayor Tim Kelly has overhauled the CARTA board, appointing eight new members on the 11-member body.

Contact Ben Sessoms at or 423-757-6354.