When looking at the big picture and considering the number of customers
who access the campus per year (i.e., 45,000 students, 14,000 faculty
and staff, countless visitors), chaos would ensue if they took advantage
of parking illegally - even just once. "Warnings" are posted throughout
the campus on the signs that read "Permit Required", "24 Hour Reserved",
Fire Lane", etc. In addition, we have found that issuing warnings does
not stop actions of violators. We promise to our permit holders that
they will be able to find a space in their assigned lot. We want to
reward the customers who behave as good stewards and do not negatively
impact their fellow Aggies by ensuring that they may park.
I read that one of the main reasons parking permits have increased
in costs is due to the fact that the parking garages cost so much to
build. If we are paying extra for parking because of this, why do we
have to pay by the hour to park in the garages, even at night?
It takes both sources of revenue, permits and paid parking to support
the system. An auxiliary is not funded by the state. All costs must
be paid for through fees charged to users. It is true that the price
of parking permits has risen in
the past 3 years. However, when compared
to other schools of similar size, facilities and services offered,
our permit rates are low. To give you an example, a WCG permit is priced
at $356 (FY05). Debt service for the garage alone (not the passageway)
is approximately $700 per year per space. We haven't even touched maintenance or utilities. So the difference
has to be made up through a system of permits for space and charges
for use. This is the industry standard and every university of any
size conducts business this way.
Approximately half of the Parking area budget each year is made up of
debt service for lots and garages. One side note is that the university
has decided that the debt service for the pedestrian passageway is Transportation
Services burden to bear. This is over $1 million in debt service each year
for a facility which generates no income. Obviously the end result is that
the rest of the system must support the revenue stream to make this payment.
Our utility costs are also rising astronomically in this year and the next.
Our 2005 budget called for spending $425,000 in utility costs. We have
been informed that the cost next year (FY 2006) will be approximately $733,000
for the Parking area alone. These types of expenditures are out of our
control. We must find a way to make the system cover these costs. To give
you an idea of what a permit fee increase generates, for FY 2003, all permits
across the board were increased approximately 6%. This only generated an
additional $358,000 in revenue.
The WCG with an expected debt service of $3.9 million per year generated
only around $10,000 per month in its first year. The construction of this
facility was a university decision although it has been left to Transportation
Services to cover the cost. Despite these facts, Transportation Services
has kept permit rates very competitive with those of other universities
Permit holders also hold night and weekend parking privileges which allow
for parking outside of their designated lot. See Night
& Weekend Parking.
Parking is a system. The annual fee for the year is prorated. Due
to fewer demands on the system, there are more parking options available
during the summer. However, the cost of providing the service does not diminish
in the same way student population fluctuates.
Parking enforcement is a service that is necessary for the University. As with all departments, parking officers are provided with the equipment necessary to perform the tasks asked of them. Most officers do conduct their patrol on foot. Some ride bikes. Supervisors who are required to oversee larger sections of campus or officers required to deliver or make use of equipment use vehicles that meet these demands. With the TAMU campus size, off main campus duties, weather and demands for prompt service, walking and riding bikes simply doesn't always get the job done.