Despite a challenging economy, U.S. hospital parking facilities experienced an estimated 2 percent average increase in revenue in 2009 compared with the prior year, according to the results of the second annual Review of Parking Rates in North America.

The slight increase in hospital parking revenue compares favorably with central business district, airport and hotel parking facilities, all of which experienced revenue declines, according to the survey, which was conducted by the National Parking Association (

Of the 54 urban and suburban hospitals responding to the survey, 52 percent reported an increase in revenue. In addition, 50 percent of responding hospitals reported increases in total vehicles parked and 28 percent cited decreases, the survey noted.

The survey also found that hospital parking remains a relative bargain compared with parking in a central business district, hotel or airport. The maximum average daily rate for patients and visitors is $11.33, compared with a $13.19 average daily rate for central business districts and $14.71 for average daily hotel parking. The average daily rate for patient and visitor self-parking is $8.46, and for valet parking is $8.58.

"I think there is a sensitivity in the health care industry about being reasonable with the charges that they have," says Martin Stein, president, National Parking Association. "And in many cases, there are programs that utilize parking either through validation or complimentary as a promotional tool to bring in things like additional outpatient surgeries."