FY2020-21 Parking Permit Fee Increase FAQs
- Why are parking rates increasing?
As an auxiliary entity, the primary source of parking revenue is through permit sales. We rely on this income stream to support all parking operations, maintenance and debt service for new construction. In May 2020, we proposed an average 2.4 percent increase for student and employee parking rates for FY2020. For employees, this translates to an additional $2 per month for standard permits and $5 per semester for adjunct permits. Students can expect an additional $6 per semester for commuter permits and $10 per semester for 6-month housing permits.
2. What is the total price I can expect to pay for my permit for the upcoming fiscal year?
The new rate structures for faculty, staff and students can be found online at https://parking.vcu.edu/parking/faculty-and-staff/options-and-rates/.
3. What did last year’s (FY2019) increase support?
The parking increase implemented in 2019 helped support several large and small-scale facility projects, to include but not limited to:
- D Deck renovations, ongoing
- New RamRide contract, to include the procurement of new RamRide shuttles, expected delivery in fall 2020
- Enhanced security by RMC Events at designated remote lots, ongoing
- Pay-by-cell technology, summer 2020
4. What will the FY2020-21 rate increase fund?
In addition to such annual operating expenses as security and enforcement, ongoing maintenance, lease increases, equipment and increasing operational costs, the rate increase will also support:
- Deferred maintenance/capital renewal needs –To protect and prolong the life of our parking structures, we will continue to address the maintenance needs recommended in our 2018 deck assessments. While the scope of work will vary among each of our parking decks, the majority of repair work will be structural in nature and take place over the course of the next five years. Additionally, we will complete paving and re-striping projects in several of our campus surface lots during summer 2020.
- Transportation services – Shuttle costs for service to/from our remote facilities (A, I, R, lots) is funded by parking permit revenue and contributions from VCU Health System.
- Safety improvements – Improving visibility and security within our parking facilities continues to be a priority. We are currently working with VCU Police to procure additional cameras for the interior of our parking decks. We will begin installation at our highest traffic facility–West Main St. Deck–with hopes to progress to additional decks in the future. New LED lighting is anticipated for installation in N Deck later in fall 2020.
- Technology enhancements – We will continue to work towards advancing how we leverage technology to improve customer service, cost savings and efficiency across our daily operations. This summer, we will launch a new pay-by-phone program which will allow customers who utilize our daily parking facilities the ability to complete payment using a mobile device. Later this year, we will introduce License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology on campus, which will help us make better infrastructure investment decisions and improve parking availability and efficiency across VCU’s campuses.
5. How are parking rates determined?
We forecast the annual costs for operations, lease agreements and maintenance and overhead and compare these figures against revenue to determine an adequate price point that satisfies our revenue, expense and repair balances.
6. When will the rate increase take effect?
The FY2020-21 rate increase will take effect on July 1, 2020. For students, the increase will be reflected in the fall 2020 student parking sales. VCU employee subscribers will see the increase reflected on their July 31, 2020 paycheck.
Please note, this increase does not impact parking refunds related to COVID-19. We will send an additional notification when parking deductions will resume for VCU employee payroll and pre-pay customers.
VCU Health System is assuming any parking rate increases issued to permit holders by VCU Parking and Transportation until the new children’s hospital opens in 2022.
7. Will this increase fund the GRTC program?
No; the increase in parking fees will not be used to fund the agreement with GRTC.
8. Doesn’t the cost of what staff, faculty and students pay to park currently cover all departmental costs?
Yes; however, as operating and maintenance costs continue to increase, additional resources are needed to sustain parking operations.
9. How is the department funded?
VCU Parking and Transportation is a self-supporting unit. The department’s parking operations are funded by permit sales, pay-per-use revenue, and special event parking revenue. RamRide is funded through parking subscription revenue and a contribution from VCU Health System. RamSafe is funded by the student university fee.
10. Do parking operations generate a profit for the department?
No; parking operations do not generate profits.
11. Will there be an increase next year?
Each spring, we review and evaluate yearly operating costs as well as our ability to sustain services. As operational costs rise yearly, permit cost increases are likely.
12. What other options do I have if I want to cancel my parking?
We recently launched “Reboot Your Commute,” an initiative designed to offer incentives for employees who make the commitment to carpool or use alternative transportation to get to work. Reboot Your Commute consolidates resources offered through VCU, VCU Health System and GRTC to make it easy for subscribers to find the alternative transportation plan that’s right for them. As part of this program, VCU is offering $100 to the first 100 employee parking subscribers who return their VCU parking permit or register a carpool/vanpool.
Additionally, all employees who register will also receive 12 free daily parking passes each year to use at any VCU pay-as-you-go parking deck. Visit commute.vcu.edu to view resources, plan your commute, register and calculate your savings.
13. What steps are VCU Parking and Transportation taking to ensure that there is adequate parking available for our growing campus?
As the university continues to expand its footprint, so does the need for parking and transportation services. We recently hired the services of a consultant firm to evaluate all aspects of the department, to include: parking demand, new parking sites, neighborhood parking concerns, transit operations, budgetary and business needs, and new/existing partnerships.
We have reviewed these findings and are working with leaders across the university and health system to develop solutions to increase parking availability as well as reduce parking demand. We have also hired an alternative transportation coordinator who will coordinate all aspects of VCU’s alternative transportation system. In addition to strengthening our existing transportation options (ZimRide, ZipCar, RamBikes), this individual will also work to develop strategies to expand the number of employees and students traveling via alternative means.
14. I have a concern regarding parking operations in my assigned facility, who can I contact?
For questions or concerns regarding our parking facilities, please contact us by email at email@example.com or phone at 828-PARK (7275). We also always welcome your feedback on how we can improve. Please reach out to us with your suggestions as well.