As the start of a six-year initiative to sustain already available programs, facilities and support remodeling projects, the University of Wisconsin will increase parking rates next semester.
The plan is meant to ensure future funding for the University of Wisconsin Transportation Services, according to Associate Director Casey Newman, who said the department has been operating at a structural deficit.
Next semester’s parking price increases, however, will improve their funding streams, Newman said.
When looking at past revenue needs, Newman said Transportation Services had to tap into its reserves in order to fund its services.
“We are sustaining,” Newman said. “But we foresee future costs.”
The department has to generate its own revenue to maintain funding, according to Transportation Services Marketing Coordinator Michelle Bacon. She said services are auxiliary, which means they do not receive any funding from the university or from the state.
Instead of raising rates by a large increase, Bacon said Transportation Services decided to initiate smaller increases over a six-year span.
“I think it’s very important to us overall to make sure that we are able to sustain all of our programs for the long term,” Bacon said. “We don’t take it very lightly that we are trying to maintain all of these different components for the campus community.”
Next year’s changes will adjust permit fees by a range of 3 to 10 percent increases for the 2013-2014 parking year, according to a Transportation Services statement. The statement said the new structure embodies “appropriate” funding levels for its services.
Bacon said there will be increases to permits, and university employees will have to pay $24 for the metro bus pass that is used only on off-campus metro buses. Right now, she said the metro bus pass is free for employees and added changes will go into effect in September.
The true value of the metro bus pass is valued at $700, according to Newman. He said Transportation Services pays for the difference out of its revenues.
“There is not anything that we are shooting to change drastically or to eliminate,” Bacon said. “But, I don’t think anyone takes these increases lightly.”
According to the statement, increased permit fees include raises to Park and Ride permits by $8, motorcycle and moped permits by $4, department service permits by $25, monthly permits by $5 to $10 and an enhanced carpool permit policy.
Bacon said the overall objective of the plan is to bring the total number of different rates on campus down to the second price level.
According to Newman, maintenance operations and parking replacements are two of the biggest changes that funding from increased parking rates will address.
Transportation Services plans to expand the UW Hospital ramp, Newman said. Due to construction, he said much of the parking around the hospital is no longer available.
With restrictions on campus boundaries, Newman said Transportation Services does not have the opportunity to build service lots. Service lots, he said, would be replaced by structured parking garages that are more expensive to build.
Newman said they are also looking at new opportunities to address accessible mobility around campus, including enhancing the bus service.