Good news for federal drivers!

Bad news for federal parkers!

First the good news because (as is often the case) it is shorter:

Uncle Sam has increased the rate he pays employes who drive on official business from 17 cents per mile to 18.5 cents per mile. The change is effective immediately.

The mileage rate boost is important to many people in the Washington area, whether they work for government or not. Some private firms, union contracts and local governments peg their mileage rates to the federal practice. With the change, approved by the General Services Administration, they will also go up to 18.5 cents per mile.

Mindful of skyrocketing gasoline costs, GSA is already working on a new study that could lead to even higher mileage payments this year or early in 1980.

Now the bad news for parkers. President Carter (preoccupied as he is with other things) hasn't forgotten that he wants to eliminate free parking for most government workers.

Office of Management and Budget, even as you read this, is working on guidelines that will spell out how much you will begin paying this October when partial new fees go into effect. The bill should be in your hand within a couple of weeks if you have one of the free spots.

Under the president's directive, federal employes (except VIP's and congressional workers) will begin paying half the commercial rate for their particular parking space this October. In two years (October 1981) they will have to pay the full fee. That could be a jolt to some people and their car pools since commercial rates in downtown Washington now run as high as $80 per month. In some suburban locations the full fee for parking will be about $15.