While we are still early in the 2018 academic year, I want to take some time to answer some of the most common questions PTS receives online about parking during this time of year.
It’s important to me that my department remains as upfront and transparent as possible, so I want to address your questions directly and encourage everyone to continue asking questions so that we can share information that matters to you.
In this post we’ll tackle the questions:
Why is parking on campus expensive? Doesn’t my tuition pay for this?
Many people don’t realize that UH Parking and Transportation is completely self-funded, which means we do not receive any tuition or fees that students pay to the university.
Our revenue comes from permit sales and citations, and occasionally from after-hour event parking, such as events hosted at Cullen Performance Hall. Our revenue has to cover the cost of lot maintenance, campus shuttles, debt from building parking garages, salaries for staff and more. You can see a breakdown of how these funds are used on our Where do your parking dollars go? blog post, which we originally posted in February 2016.
Range of Permit Prices
As a department, we have to think about the needs of the campus community as well as how to cover the financial cost of the services we’re providing. To do this, we provide a range of permit options that allow faculty, staff and students to decide for themselves how to balance cost and convenience and choose what works best for their own situation.
Those who pay a higher price for permits, such as garage permits, cover more of the cost but also benefit from the conveniences that come with parking in the garages and having a lower oversell rate.
There are more affordable options, such as the Remote Campus Permit, which is a permit type available to all faculty, staff and students for only $175 for a full 12 months! We have done our best to make this permit a truly viable option for people. We do this by providing free shuttles that run from ERP to central locations on campus and by allowing Remote Campus Permit holders to park in closer parking lots on campus after 4 p.m. and on weekends.
Additional Options to Save Money
In addition to the price ranges of permit options, we offer COAST, a program where faculty/staff and students could actually have all or most of their cost of transportation covered! We encourage everyone to look in to this program, whether they’re looking to save money, avoid traffic or find a more sustainable way to get to campus.
At this time the COAST program provides financial incentives for those getting to campus by taking METRO or carpooling with other people to campus. We are researching and developing plans to expand the COAST program, so stay tuned for updates on this!