Parking still missing from Alapai parking garageUPDATED 7:31 PM HST May 12, 2014Video Transcript
years now... and the only thing missing, is the parking! There's not a lot of that happening yet ... and people are wondering why.. KITV4's Andrew Pereira has some answers "all new at 6." The Civic Center parking garage next to the Frank Fasi building is often like a merry-go- round... good luck finding a stall. Just a few hundred yards away, the 5-story Alapai Parking structure beckons frustrated drivers. ANDREW PEREIRA: "BUT NEARLY TWO YEARS AFTER THE PARKING GARAGED OPENED THE 406 STALLS, AS YOU CAN SEE, REMAIN LARGELY UNUSED." ANN KOBAYASHI: "WE ADDED TO THE FIVE CARS THAT WERE PARKING THERE TWO YEARS AGO AND I THOUGHT BY NOW THE BUILDING WAS FULL." Although some police department employees have begun using the Alapai garage, councilmembers wonder why the facility isn't generating funds for our cash-strapped city. ANN KOBAYASHI: "THAT'S WHY THE PUBLIC GETS VERY FRUSTRATED; THEY SEE AN EMPTY BUILDING; THEY LISTEN TO THE BUREAUCRATS TRYING TO DECIDE HOW TO USE THE SPACES AND IT'S STILL EMPTY AFTER TWO YEARS? Because Uncle Sam paid for the garage, its use must be approved by the Federal Transit Administration. Transportation Services Dir. Mike Formby says permission was granted in the middle of 2013. Next came an agreement with public worker unions. MIKE FORMBY: "MET WITH ALL THE UNIONS, GAVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT -- THEY DID COMMENT. WE HAD TO MAKE SOME CHANGES IN THE POLICY. THE POLICY WAS FINALIZED AND PUT OUT, AND AS FAR AS I KNOW TODAY, WE ARE ALLOWING PEOPLE TO PARK IN THE FACILITY." At $60 per stall for city workers, the parking garage could generate around $300,000 every year. Money that's desperately needed to fund bus routes and road repair. MIKE FORMBY: "I KNOW THAT WHEN WE STARTED TO PUT THE LIST OUT, THERE WERE ACTUALLY A LOT OF OPENINGS IN THE CIVIC CENTER GARAGE AND PEOPLE OBVIOUSLY TAKE THAT BEFORE THEY TAKE ALAPAI. SO, THE GOAL IS TO FILL IT UP IF THERE'S A DEMAND." The parking public would sure like the option, but Formby says that would require additional approval by the FTA. MIKE FORMBY: "IT IS AN EMPLOYEE GARAGE, SO IT WOULD BE EMPLOYEES FIRST AND THEN IF WE FIND THAT THERE'S SPACE AVAILABLE, WE'LL GO TO THE FTA AND SEE IF THEY'LL ALLOW IT." Andrew Pereira, KITV4 News. Under the city's agreement with the FTA, proceeds from the Alapai parking structure must be set aside for bus service or road repair. About 70 city workers are currently using the garage.