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By: Bob Browand

I recently addressed some of the questions UH Parking and Transportation commonly receives about permit prices. In today’s post, I am tackling the subject of permit oversell.

If you have questions you’d like me to answer in a future post, please write your questions in the discussion section at the bottom of the page. 

Why do you sell more permits than there are spaces?

UH Parking and Transportation uses an industry standard practice called oversell, which means selling more permits than there are spaces.

Why oversell permits?oversell benefits

The main reasons for practicing oversell is to distribute the cost of parking among more people and to use the parking spaces efficiently so that more faculty, staff and students have the ability to park on campus.

On a university campus students and even faculty and staff have varying schedules, so it doesn’t make sense to sell one permit for each space. If we did that, most permits types would cost almost double the price they are now and many spaces would sit empty throughout the day.

By sharing spaces with others who have a different schedule than you, you are splitting the price of all of the costs associated with the parking spaces. More information about department costs and permit pricing can be found on our post from September 2017.

Navigating parking availabilitylot 8a not full

While oversold permits may mean you have to look for a spot and you may not find a space in the lot closest to your building, there are open spaces available.

For example, those with a Student Permit should note that Lot 8A has not been full at any point in the fall 2017 semester. Those who don’t want to spend time searching for a space should try going to Lot 8A or one of the other lots that experience less traffic. Even if this lot is not the closest to your destination, consider the time and stress saved by not searching for a spot in one of the busier lots.

Oversell rates this year versus last year

We adjust oversell rates as needed each year and as you can see below, we’ve lowered some oversell rates for the 2017-2018 academic year compared to 2016-2017 while most of the other oversell rates remained the same.oversell rate comparisons

The benefit of lowering the oversell rate is that those with that permit type have a better chance of finding a space easily. The downside for those permit holders is that the permit price has to go up to cover the costs associated with that space. In addition, capping sales to reduce permit oversell means that there are more people who will not get their first choice permit.

We recognize the need for more parking spaces as the number of people on campus increases. We are constructing additional parking garages and a new surface lot, with more plans to come in the near future. 

How does UH determine oversell rates?

Parking and Transportation looks at industry standards, UH historical parking data and feedback from the campus community to determine the oversell rates for the next year.


If you have any questions about oversell rates or feedback about your experience please comment below so that we can continue the discussion.


posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017