Last fall we started a process to provide more alternatives to transport people to work in ways other than a single occupant vehicle. Even though TravelSmart is not officially part of Parking, the most common concern we hear revolves around the cost of parking: Why do we have to pay to park here? Where does all that money go?
Seemed like this should be something I should know, so I decided to find out.
As it turns out Parking does not generate profit. Yes, money is collected but it actually covers a variety of expenses. I was shocked to learn that a major snowstorm can cost us $45,000 or more! While some businesses can wait until it stops snowing to clear snow, we are 24/7 and for your safety sidewalks and lots are continuously and repeatedly cleared and salted, while snow from parking garages actually has to be hauled off site.
Here’s a list of where your parking fee goes:
So this begs the question, how do other places in town handle parking if they don’t charge their employees to park? Answer: they do, they just don’t tell them. If parking is owned or leased by an employer, the employee helps to pay for expenses. It may not be a line-item on the pay stub, but they pay for it with fewer vacation days, fewer benefits, smaller raises, something. We have an advantage because we have a choice. If I don’t want to pay, I don’t park and that’s money I save.
Interested in saving money? Check out the TravelSmart page for information on active transportation options that will get you to campus, allow you to park for less or free, and save you money on transportation.