Parking rates to rise as much as 15 percent
Campus offers transit subsidies, free parking for carpools


new rates

22 March 2001 | Parking rate increases. Lost parking spaces due to construction. New transit and carpool options. These are among the many parking and transportation changes facing the campus in the coming months. Director of Transportation Nad Permaul answered some questions for the Berkeleyan to give faculty and staff details about the changes.

What adjustments will the campus make for parking rates in the next fiscal year, and when will these changes take place?
The campus is in the third year of a five-year plan to raise parking rates to build parking and maintain operations. Next year — fiscal year 2001-02 — rates are proposed to increase between 11 and15 percent to keep on the five-year plan schedule. At this time, the proposed rates would be implemented on July 1.

Are all parking permit holders affected by the increases?
Students, faculty and staff who purchase parking permits will be affected.

Why is it necessary to raise parking rates?
Under our five-year plan, the planned rate increases will allow us to build more parking and to maintain operations. Campus parking is an auxiliary, like student housing and athletics, so its operations and capital development are funded through user fees. To generate enough revenue to defray the cost of debt service, when new parking is constructed, fees must increase. The campus has adopted a policy to replace parking removed due to capital development, and Parking and Transportation will be receiving its first replacement funds this semester. But that policy is relatively new. The existing shortfall of spaces must be funded through fees.

Why can’t the university use other funds to offset the need to raise parking rates?
As an auxiliary service, Parking and Transportation does not receive university or state funds for operations. If the campus prioritizes university or state funds for parking, then it would need to take them from its annual operating allocation. The priorities for state and university funds are established by the campus and are focused on the academic program. While the campus has recognized access as important to the academic mission, and the parking system as a campus utility, it cannot easily shift funds without taking them away from other priorities.

Where does the money for parking permits go?
Funds collected from user fees, which are not earmarked for annual operating expenses and existing debt service, remain in special accounts at Parking and Transportation for use in future capital development. Replacement funds are kept in a special account created by the campus for this purpose.

How does Berkeley’s campus parking rates compare to those at other UC campuses?
UC Berkeley currently has the highest parking rates of any UC campus, but it also has the smallest parking supply for its population. Supply is very limited. There is no land on which to build parking at relatively low cost, and there are obstacles in the community to expanding the supply of parking. Hence, rates are high.

Why is the campus losing parking spaces?
To maintain the academic program on the Berkeley campus, capital development has occurred in every generation. With fewer than 200 acres of land on the central campus, Berkeley has little space to support its large campus population and programs. Parking lots are generally the last large open spaces available to the campus.

What is being done to increase the number of parking spaces for faculty and staff?
The administration recognizes that we need a critical mass of spaces for our commuter population. Garages and structures are being maintained or built, such as the new SRB-1 garage and the rebuilding of the critical Underhill structure. Campus planners have proposed that the campus build approximately 1,100 spaces to bring our inventory closer to the existing Long Range Development Plan limits. Those spaces will be shared among students, faculty and staff.

What new programs are Parking and Transportation implementing to reduce the number of cars coming to campus?
Parking and Transportation initiated a “pre-tax” transit program two years ago, and 90 employees are currently signed up for monthly payroll deductions. In January, we started a pilot program with AC Transit and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that offers free shuttle service from the Rockridge BART station.

Our latest project is a pilot carpool program designed to encourage the formation of new carpools. New carpoolers will enjoy free parking through June 30, 2001. Prospective carpoolers may form a carpool with another person (or more) who has turned in a permit, or with a new employee. Free reserved carpool parking spaces are available throughout the campus, including in the Underhill and Anna Head West parking lots. We hope commuters will give it a try.

We are looking to revitalize the campus carpool program, and will propose this year an ambitious transit subsidy program for the campus to consider.

Can faculty and staff who don’t frequently drive to campus get parking permits for limited use?
Yes, they can purchase a “daily” parking permit. When you wish to drive, display the permit on your vehicle, then purchase a daily ticket from the machine in the lot for six dollars. However, faculty and staff who are members of our alternate transportation programs — carpool, vanpool and transit discounts — cannot hold daytime parking permits, carpool, vanpool, transit discount. For these commuters, we have another option that allows them to drive and park from time to time. They can purchase books of occasional use parking coupons — two books of eight coupons per fiscal year; display one on your vehicle when you wish to drive for the day.

What efforts are being made to offset the price of public transportation (BART, AC Transit) for university employees?
One of our other spring pilot programs offers employees strong incentives to use public transit by subsidizing the costs — a $30-a-month transit discount to commuters who switch from a parking permit. This discount can be used toward the purchase of any transit ticket sold by Berkeley TRiP, including tickets for more than 10 Bay Area transit agencies. We realize transit can get expensive, and we hope this program makes public transit more attractive to faculty and staff. As more information is available, we will share it with the campus, and we are likely to have focus groups from current transit users, and those who drive, to help inform the process.

Can faculty and staff provide feedback and opinions about campus parking and transportation issues?
Yes. Beginning this Thursday, the Physical and Environmental Planning Office will be distributing a survey in conjunction with the Academic Senate subcommittee on transportation and parking, the Department of Parking and Transportation, and Housing and Dining Services. The goal is to get important information on housing, parking and transportation needs of faculty and staff. This information will go a long way toward helping to shape priorities and planning.

Employees can go to to find the survey and respond.


Home | Search | Archive | About | Contact | More News

Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.

Comments? E-mail