The parking permit rates for FY25 will go before the University of Houston System Board of Regents for approval at its Feb. 21 meeting. Here are some common questions students, faculty and staff may have regarding the rates.
From FY19 to FY2023, Parking and Transportation Services has seen overall operational facilities and parking equipment costs escalate by 114%, and we are seeing double-digit percentage increases every year for these expenses. It is more expensive to operate garages than surface parking lots, and with 50% of our inventory in garages, our services are more expensive to operate. Additionally, due to community feedback about safety and security, we are adding parking gates in a number of our parking zones, so we anticipate that these double-digit percentage increases will continue next year. As an auxiliary service, we are required to be self-sustaining financially and cover all of our expenses and generate a capital reserve for major structural and system repairs. Additionally, our service level agreements with other departments on campus help support other campus departments, services, and jobs. These departments are also seeing increases in the cost of tools and supplies, due to inflation, in the costs to make repairs to our lots and structures.
Every year, we work very hard to manage our expenses. As an example of this, during the pandemic, we reduced our staffing from 32 employees to 11 employees, and moved these services to contract labor. This provides us the ability to scale up and scale down staffing in alignment with the academic calendar. We are truly doing more with less. We manage 24,000 parking spaces, which include six garages, with 11 full-time employees. The median for universities with similar parking spaces is 15 full-time employees, and the average staffing is 47 full-time employees.
Zones B and C are the most in demand parking zones of any zones on campus. We currently have more than 3,000 students, faculty, and staff on the waiting list for a parking permit in this zone. All other zones combined have a wait list of 2,174. This zone is also the most expensive zone to operate. As an example of this, 30% of our parking citations for “No Valid Permit” are written in this zone during the first week of classes, which requires significant staffing resources to ensure that the contract parkers in this zone can get to classes and work on time.
We recognize that these garages are proximal to the most popular parking zones (B&C) and these are the most underutilized garages. We are hopeful that reducing the cost of this garage will offset some of the demand for parking zones B and C and provide an opportunity for community members who would like to park in a garage the opportunity to do so.
Proposed FY25 Parking Permit Rates
The chart below shows the proposed parking permit rates for zones and garages for FY25, as well as for the three years after that. Students and faculty-staff would pay the same rates.
- Starting in the fall, student permits will only be per semester. That is why that rate is shown in the third column. The fourth column shows the cost of the permit for the entire year.
- Faculty-staff will pay a monthly rate that is paid through payroll deduction.
- The rates will be presented to the University of Houston System Board of Regents at its Feb. 21 meeting.