Equalizing parking rates for employees who park in a deck and those who don't has been a topic of community discussion for several years. In 1994, the University Senate Traffic and Parking Committee asked the Parking Office to examine the feasibility of working toward such an equalization.
The 1998 parking fee structure recently announced by the Parking Office is the first step in implementing a three-year equalization plan, according to Erick Gaither, executive director of Community Services. Rate increases for those who park in decks will be rather modest, while increases for those who do not park in decks will be more significant. Gaither said that equalizing rates addresses the problem of inequity between employees who must park in a deck because of where they work (North Decatur Building, Rollins Center, Public Health) and employees whose work site gives them the option of using parking on the street or in ungated areas (quadrangle area, Human Resources).
Equalization, Gaither explained, also will eliminate the concept of a deck charge over and above a standard parking fee.
The new rates
Annual rates for faculty without a deck card will increase 40 percent, from $126 to $177, while rates for faculty with deck cards will increase 11 percent, from $234 to $261.
For staff without deck cards, rates will increase by 50 percent, from $66 to $99. Rates for staff with deck cards will increase by 5 percent, from $174 to $183.
For faculty and staff who pay parking fees through payroll deduction, monthly rates for 1998 will be $14.75 for faculty without a deck card, $21.75 for faculty with a deck card, $8.25 for staff without deck cards, and $15.25 for staff with a deck card.
Student parking rates will increase 16.5 percent, from $206 to $240. Unlike faculty and staff, students have a single rate regardless of whether they park in a deck.
In addition to moving toward an equalization of parking rates, Gaither also said this year's increase in parking fees is necessary to begin paying debt service on the new deck adjacent to the 1525 Clifton Building. "[Community Services] is responsible for the debt service on all the parking decks, plus the operations and maintenance costs," said Gaither. "With the 1525 Clifton deck coming on-line, that will add approximately $500,000 a year to our costs." Debt service on all Emory parking decks is spread equally among all faculty, staff and students.
Other services funded by parking fees include campus shuttles, security, the motorist assistance program (jump starts, unlocking, flat tire changes), escorts, deck maintenance and repair, parking enforcement and special events support.
Gaither said the move to equalize deck and surface parking fees will not be accompanied by an attempt to equalize faculty and administration (Zone 1) parking rates and staff (Zone 2) rates. Gaither said his office and the Traffic and Parking Committee are committed to Emory's long-standing policy of charging lower rates for general staff employees.
Avoiding parking fees
For employees who wish to avoid paying increased parking fees, Emory's alternative transportation program offers several commuting options. Existing programs include fully subsidized MARTA passes for eligible employees (a $45 per month value) and a Carpool Incentives Program (including reduced parking rates) for eligible employees who register carpools of at least two people. Carpools with three or more people receive free parking.
In addition to these programs, Cheryle Crumley, director of alternative transportation services, said Emory has recently signed an agreement with MARTA allowing the University to sell MARTA passes to students, faculty and staff at a 15-percent discount off the regular price.
Crumley said the program should be quite helpful to the hundreds of contract and temporary employees working on campus at any given time, as those workers are not eligible for free MARTA cards.
An even newer initiative being studied is van pooling. Crumley said employees will be able to learn more about van pooling at a booth that will be set up at Staff Fest on May 15.
For information on alternative transportation programs or on campus parking, call 727-PARK.
Faculty-staff parking fees
Faculty with deck
Faculty without deck
Staff with deck
Staff without deck
Increase per week