Parking services moves
toward more equitable rates
Parking application forms for 1997-98 are about to be mailed out, and
in an effort to equalize parking rates between faculty and staff who park
in decks and those who don't, Emory's Parking Office has made significant
changes in the parking permit cost structure.
The changes, which will reflect as much as a 50 percent increase for
those who don't park in decks, are the first in a three-year schedule that
eventually will equalize the cost to deck and non-deck users. There was
an adjustment two years ago moving the rates closer together, but this three-year
plan aims to finish the job. For example, fees for Zone 2 University staff
who park in a deck will increase from $174 to $183 for the year, while non-deck
parking will jump from $66 to $99.
"This can be a very emotional issue," said Erick Gaither, executive
director of Community Services. "But people also feel penalized by
having to pay higher fees to park in decks. Some locations have no choice,
for example the occupants of the North Decatur Building."
Gaither said the decision to equalize the rates came at the recommendation
of the University Senate's traffic and parking committee. He said his office
equalized deck and non-deck fees for students several years ago.
"We have been moving progressively in this direction," said
Nancy Wilkinson, chair of the parking committee. "You get assigned
to a deck, and you're having to pay more for a more inconvenient location.
It seems a bit unfair. We want to move to a philosophy where people who
park pay for the cost of parking, and we need to distribute that as much
as we can amongst all employees."
Bill Collier, director of parking, said the current increases will continue
for the two remaining years of the three-year plan and may even go higher,
depending on certain factors, chief among them the office's debt service
on parking decks. The parking office is a self-supporting auxiliary office
of the University, Collier explained, and it pays its bills with a combination
of user fees, fringe benefit transfer from the University and visitor parking
income. The benefit transfer and visitor parking make up roughly half of
the office's $6 million annual budget, so the rest must come from Emory
user fees. Once the office determines its expenses for a year, it sets parking
"If it wasn't for [visitor parking and benefit transfer], the rates
would be a lot higher than they are," Collier said. Whether the University
chooses to build another parking deck will determine how much the rates
will increase in coming years. "Our ultimate goal is someday to have
the rates where we can have equal percentage increases across the board
One way Emory employees can avoid having to pay the higher fees is by
taking advantage of the growing number of alternative transportation options
offered by Community Services. For the first time, the office's rules and
regulations brochure details alternative options, and parking applications
will contain a survey of commuter transportation information so the office
can further enhance its services.
Alternative services include MARTA subsidies for qualified employees
that provide unlimited use of MARTA trains and buses, and also carpool and
vanpool options. Community Services will use its new commuter database to
match employees interested in carpools and vanpools with others living in
their neighborhoods. And the recent formation of a transportation management
association with Emory's Clifton Corridor neighbors increases the number
of potential carpool and vanpool riders significantly.
"Next fall is going to be very tight with parking," Gaither
said. "We're marketing alternative transportation programs, and we're
asking more people to consider commuter options rather than single-occupancy
In another effort to improve customer service, Parking Office staff will
make several trips to Emory Clinic, Emory Hospital and campus offices to
personally distribute hang tags and deck cards. All the dates will be from
mid to late January, and the exact times and locations will be printed in
to December 8, 1997 Contents Page