Campus News

Parking proposes rate hikes at recent town hall meeting

Photo of the faculty Welcome Garage.

The Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee proposed plans to gradually increase permit rates. | File photo

In a virtual town hall, the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee proposed plans to gradually increase permit rates in most garages and lots.

TPAC, which is comprised of students, faculty and staff, considered five factors when determining new rates: unknown expenses, convenience, decreasing the price gap between zones and garages, reducing parking citations issued in the first two weeks and preparing for the future.

“These rates are proposed and are actually pending the approval of the University of Houston System Board of Regents,” said Assistant Director of Parking & Transportation Richard Zagrzecki. “They will be meeting later in February so these aren’t actually approved yet. They’re the proposed rates so they won’t actually go into effect or be approved until after the BOR votes on them.”

If the new rates are approved, the most in-demand lots — B and C — will see a 15% increase in the next three years and evening out at a 3% increase after. By fiscal year 29, the East and Gateway garages and Zones B and C will be the same price at $765 each.

The only garages to see a potential price decrease — the East and Gateway garages — are also the least in demand, according to TPAC Chair Salik Faisal. Current rates start at $800, but the proposed rate bring that price down to $700 followed by a 3% increase each year after.

“It allows us to, over time, close the gap between the most in-demand zone parking and the least in-demand garage parking,” Faisal said. “Doing it over a portion of three years basically allows us to incrementally target that issue.”

Parking’s projected revenue and expenses will break even, with the majority of revenue being generated through student permits and the majority of expenses spent on debt payments. The full breakdown of the department’s expected revenue and expenses can be viewed through its recorded town hall.

“One of the things that we wanted to look at is a way that we can make this relatively more predictable and stable so that students can expect to know what they’re getting over the next few years whenever they’re planning financially for their academics,” Faisal said.

If approved by the Board of Regents during their meeting on Feb. 21, the proposed parking rates will go into effect beginning FY25.

Parking rates have been a hot topic for years and in 2022, the 58 Administration of the UH Student Government Association attempted to implement a $25 fee for all students, which would freeze permit prices for two years.

The required fee would go towards funding amenities like Cougar Ride and Cougar Line, but was ultimately struck down as it failed to gain the senate’s vote.

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