September 25, 2006
Parking rate increase supports alternatives
Parking rates for University staff, faculty and students are scheduled to rise in 2007 in accordance with a plan originally announced in April 2005, and discussed in campus-wide forums during the 2005–06 academic year.
On average, parking rates for faculty and staff will increase from $25 per month to $50 per month, effective Feb. 1, 2007. Student parking rates will also increase to $50 per month effective Sept. 1, 2007. The rates are consistent with parking charges at Atlanta’s other major universities as well as other major employers in the city.
The rate hike will occur approximately six months after the launch of Emory’s free, expanded Cliff shuttle bus service, along with the opening of the first of several free Park-n-Ride lots designed to encourage satellite parking by university commuters. Already more than 100 cars a day are using the university-patrolled lot at North DeKalb Mall, and as many as three or four additional satellite lots are under active consideration.
The underlying goal is to serve the University’s sustainability vision, the Clifton Community Partnership initiative and the 2005 Campus Master Plan by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles entering and leaving campus every day.
Beginning next year, the former subsidy funding will be put toward Emory’s alterative transportation programs and all individual payments made for parking permits will be used solely for parking-related costs.
“I realize that these changes in the parking policy will have an impact on commuters,” said Mike Mandl, executive vice president of finance and administration, “but this change allows us to spend university dollars to support Emory’s vision. We are hopeful that faculty, staff and students will understand and value that ultimately the Clifton Community Partnership initiative will significantly improve the life of University citizens and that our long-term sustainability goals are worthy. Emory simply cannot continue to fund reliance on single occupancy vehicles.”
Emory leadership is aware that these new rates will disproportionately affect those of modest income. In order to ease this financial burden, University employees who purchase parking passes and earn under $30,000 per year will receive extra payments of $300 for the first year, $200 the second year, $100 the third year and no payment thereafter.
University employees who purchase parking passes and earn between $30,001 and $40,000 per year will receive payments of $200 for the first year of the new parking rates, $100 the second year and no payment thereafter.
How the new fee structure will apply to the special case of part-time employees who choose to park on campus is still under review and will be clarified in the near future.
The new plan will not apply to Emory Healthcare employees, who have a different pay and benefit system.
So, what are the options for commuters?
Emory offers Eagle permits and Cliff permits for those commuters or students who don’t need to purchase an annual parking pass.
The Eagle permit is designed for those who only need to park on campus occasionally, such as part-time employees and students. This permit costs $75 per year for 20 daily uses. Up to 120 daily uses can be purchased within a 12-month period.
The Cliff permit is designed for commuters who register and participate in Emory’s transportation programs, such as vanpool and carpool, which transport more than 1,000 Emory commuters. The free permit entitles registered commute option participants to 24 daily uses. Up to 40 additional daily uses may be purchased within a 12-month period at a cost of $75 for 20 permits. The Cliff permit can be used in conjunction with Emory’s program to provide free MARTA passes for commuters.
The free Park-n-Ride commuter shuttle service from North DeKalb Mall serves those east Atlanta commuters who travel to campus via Lawrenceville Highway and the Stone Mountain Freeway. These shuttles run to campus weekdays 5:30 a.m.–7p.m.
The North DeKalb Park-n-Ride, barely open three months, continues to be discovered by commuters. Emory’s second Park-n-Ride service is expected to open at Northlake Mall soon.
Another option is the new rent-by-the-hour Flexcar service that provides ‘loaner’ cars for those on campus who need a car to run an errand. Flexcar pays for the insurance, gas, cleaning and maintenance. Emory pays for the initiation fee and first year’s membership dues for faculty and staff and a limited number of free hours to those who use alternative transportation.
For more information on Emory’s transportation options, visit www.ridecliff.org and www.epcs.emory.edu/alttransp/flexcar.html.