Skip to main content

Where Does the Department Get the Funds to Cover its Expenses?

The cost to build and maintain the parking facilities and operate transportation programs at a large university is not cheap. A great deal of planning and organization goes into keeping expenses at the level that they are.

Parking Is An Auxiliary. But What Does That Mean?

As you may (or may not) know, Parking and Transportation Services receives no funding from the university or the state.

The department is designated as an auxiliary service by UH. Under state law, auxiliaries cannot receive state funds. They have to be completely self-funded operations. This is not new. It has been the case for years.

At the same time, Parking and Transportation has to meet all of its budgetary obligations. By far, the largest of those is the cost of the parking garages. Imagine paying for a mortgage on a multi-million dollar home. Now multiply that by six, which happens to be the number of parking garages that have been constructed on campus since 2006 to provide enough parking to accommodate the campus community. It's a large number, which we'll go over in detail in our next blog post.

Parking garages, however, aren't the only expenses. There are the shuttle programs (Cougar Line and Cougar Ride), maintenance/repair costs, salaries and benefits, and utilities.

How the Department Generates Revenue

There are not a lot of options for Parking and Transportation Services to generate revenue to cover the cost of its expenses. Nearly 75% of it comes from the sale of parking permits to students, faculty and staff. The chart below breaks down the percentages for Fiscal Year 23 (which ended in August 2023). The chart below projects the percentages for Fiscal Year 24, which we currently are in and which ends this coming August.

For the 2023 fiscal year, the total revenue received was 58% student permits, 24% visitor/special events, 15% staff/faculty permits and 3% enforcement.

The projected revenue for the 2024 fiscal year is expected to come from 56% student permits, 23% visitor/special events, 16% staff permits and 5% enforcement.

Understanding these financial dynamics should bring some clarity as to why parking fees are in place and are essential to maintaining the functionality and services offered by the department.

Much thought and energy goes into formulating the permit rate structure each year. In the end, the rates that are set are the lowest that they can be yet still allow Parking and Transportation Services to meet the budgetary expenses.


Posted: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024