Price of parking increases across campus in 2016-2017 academic year

The price of parking on campus increased this year by roughly 27.8 percent for faculty, staff and commuter students, according to Brian Grube, the associate director of finance and administration for Parking and Transportation Services.

Parking prices increased the previous two school years, but was stagnant for the three previous to those.

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In the 2016 fiscal year, Parking Services made over $4 million in net income from operations. In the same year, the department generated over $7 million in revenue, a 17 percent increase compared to last year. Over one million of that revenue is from citations and roughly $2.35 million comes solely from student parking permits. Metered parking generated just shy of $1.6 million in revenue.

Total operating expenses for the 2016 fiscal year total just under $3 million. Almost half of that covers salaries in the department.

The director for parking and transportation services makes just over $100,000 annually.

However, their salary does not differ drastically from other department directors employed full time. Directors for the library make in the range of $87 – $116,000 annually. The director of orientation and transition programs makes roughly $75,000, while the office of financial aid director makes roughly $125,000 annually.

The revenue generated from parking permits, meters, and tickets across campus serves as the primary source of funding for campus parking and transportation. This means parking operations, maintenance and money for new parking facilities is paid for via the cost of parking on campus, according to a SOURCE article.

In the 2016 fiscal year, under $350,000 was spent on lot maintenance for campus.

Parking on the CSU campus must be self-funded, according to Colorado Revised Statute (CRS) § 23-5-101.5. This is because Parking Services can only receive less than ten percent of its total annual revenues in grants from both state and local governments combined, wrote Grube in an email to the Collegian.

A master plan for parking expansion at CSU was released in 2004 and updated again in 2012. The new stadium broke ground in 2015. The two projects, though simultaneously ongoing, are not necessarily correlated, according to Dell Rae Ciaravola.

The increase in parking permit prices is not funding the new on campus stadium, Dell Rae Ciaravola, risk and public safety communications manager, wrote in an email to the Collegian. Parking on campus is a separate project from the building on the new stadium.

A permit rate increase was approved in 2015 by the Board of Governors at CSU, in large part because of economic downturn.

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Rate increases are supposed to help fund the parking expansion ongoing at CSU, namely the South College Garage. New technology already available in the Lake Street Garage, which lets commuters know which spots are open or closed, is also funded via increases in price.

Alternative transportation is also funding in part because of increases to parking prices, according to SOURCE. The bicycle underpass set to open at Prospect and Center received partial funding from this year’s price increase.

TRANSFORT, the Fort Collins city bus, received a $1.5 million investment from its partnership with Parking and Transportation Services at CSU. Students are able to ride the MAX for free, utilize Around the Horn, and take part in the Emergency Ride Home program when they use alternative transportation to commute to campus, but feel unsafe getting home.

There are fewer parking spots on CSU’s campus today than there were five years ago because of the expansion of alternative transportation programs, wrote Grube,

While students continue to express dissatisfaction with the number of spaces available, permits do not guarantee enough parking spaces on campus.

“Purchasing a parking permit does not guarantee a parking spot, or a space in a desired location,” is printed on the website for Parking and Transportation.

Collegian reporter Rachel Telljohn can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @racheltelljohn.