Open Forum to Address Parking Rate Increase Today

Open Forum to Address Parking Rate Increase Today

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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The University community is invited to attend an open forum at 11:30 a.m. today to discuss campus parking price increases planned over the next three years.

Parking and Transportation Services originally called for the majority of parking permits to increase in price by $116 in both 2009-20010 and in 2010-2011 and by an additional $50 in 2011-2012.

However, due to the current economic and campus environments, President Robert N. Shelton authorized changing the plan so that the smallest increase will occur in the first year, according to a memo from PTS.

The amended plan calls for a $50 increase next year and a $116 increase in each of the following two years for a total increase of $282.

"In these tougher economic times they (Shelton and PTS Director Patrick Kass) wanted to make sure it's a little easier for everyone – employees and students," said Bill Davidson, marketing manager for PTS.

The initial decision to increase permit prices across the board was made in response to a transportation needs assessment study conducted for The University of Arizona and the Pima Association of Governments during 2007-2008. The study recommended raising prices to help fund measures to accommodate future growth at the University, which is one of the largest activity hubs in metropolitan Tucson, with more than 50,000 students and employees plus visitors.

"I realize during our current economic climate that it's not the best time" but the increase is necessary, Kass said during a presentation to the Faculty Senate on Monday.

The additional revenue will help PTS meet its goals of reducing traffic congestion and the number of single-occupancy cars on campus and providing more sustainable transportation options, Davidson said.

Some of the measures to be funded by the increase include establishing car- and bike-sharing programs next year and increasing Sun Tran bus pass subsidies, adding new CatTran shuttle routes and building another campus parking garage.

Kass will discuss the specifics of the plan at 11:30 a.m. today in the Kiva Room of the Student Union Memorial Center. A question and answer session will follow.

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