Parking rates to increase in October for new TCC


EAST BRUNSWICK – Parking rates at the new Transportation and Commerce Center (TCC) will be adjusted in October to bring them in line with the township’s other park-and-ride facility, Neilson Plaza.

The TCC, formerly an 1,130-space parking lot adjacent to Sam’s Club, will open this fall as a six-story deck with 1,681 spaces. The township is constructing the facility for $32 million.

Last week, the Township Council decided to hold off on implementing the new rates until October, in case the facility misses its planned opening date of Sept. 2. The item was on the agenda for discussion only, so no official action was taken.

According to a copy of the proposed ordinance, rates will go up for both daily and monthly parking permits. The previous daily rate of $3 will rise to $4. The monthly parking permit for a resident of East Brunswick will increase from $20 to $25, while the rate for a nonresident will go from $40 to $55.

Township Finance Director L. Mason Neely said the increases synchronize the prices for Neilson and TCC.

Officials said TCC parkers will now receive better accommodations and amenities, comparable to those at the Neilson deck, which is further north near the New Jersey Turnpike entrance.

Neely had asked the council to consider an ordinance that raised rates effective Sept. 2, but during the June 16 meeting, council members questioned whether the facility would be open by that date, as the administration has stated. Councilman David Stahl asked what would happen if the deck is not yet open when the higher rates take effect.

Neely said the date for the increase could be switched to October, but he did not believe that was necessary.

“There’s no reason it won’t be open for functional use by Sept. 2,” he said.

Stahl said it would be unfair to commuters if they had to pay the higher prices yet still could not use the new TCC facility. Neely said he needed time to market the new facility and issue permits, so he wanted the council to adopt the proposed rate hikes as soon as possible.

“I need a lead time,” he said.

Councilman Donald Klemp asked if the town could offer a credit on renewals, should the rates go into effect before usage. Neely said that would be possible, but costly.

Neely said he is very confident the facility will be open by Sept. 2, adding that he has worked on the project for a year and a half and routinely visits the site. The township even has two weeks of extra time in case weather causes the remaining work to fall behind schedule, he said.

Nonetheless, the council’s consensus favored the October rate hike.