You might be aware that parking charges for 2017 have increased.
Full year on-campus parking charges increase from $304 for students and $455 for staff in 2016, to $350 and $600 respectively in 2017. They will increase to $400 and $800 respectively in 2018, and $475 and $1000 respectively in 2019.
So, why the increase?
The charges reflect the University’s need to meet costs for car parking provision and maintenance without impinging on tuition revenue used to provide the University’s core business of teaching and research.
What does Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr have to say?
“These charges reflect a move to recover the costs of developing and maintaining car parks on campus in line with staff and student demand and City Council requirements. The University is not yet covering those costs and should not subsidise car parking. The fairest option is to ask those who use it to meet the costs.
“The District Plan determines all car parking requirements on the UC campus. UC has 3,742 on campus car parks for staff, students and visitors, including 610 temporary parks for contractors and 63 mobility parks. An additional 1,057 parks will be needed by 2023.”
A permit allows a ‘licence to hunt’ not a guaranteed park
A UC parking permit is only a ‘licence to hunt’ for a park, and it IS not proposed to change that, but parking will be enforced year round for the first time from 2017, including over the summer break.
Why end free summer parking?
UC was advised by independent experts that a uniform approach and consistent enforcement was best practice. It’s also fairer to those who do purchase a yearly parking permit. The point of the fees is to incentivise other modes of transport and recover the costs of providing on campus parking.
What does the University know about the travel patterns of students?
More students are driving to campus. The 2016 edition of UC’s four yearly travel survey showed the number of students driving to campus had increased 11% since 2012 to 41% – the second highest rate since 1966, surpassed only slightly by 41.2% in 2000.
While those figures represent students who park on and off campus, more than 47% of students surveyed in 2016 believed replacing the current scheme with a $1 daily charge would not impact on their parking choices. The cost of owning and operating a car in New Zealand has fallen in recent years with the high exchange rate, decline in oil prices and ACC levy. Recent and proposed increases in parking fees do not offset those savings which may explain why more students are driving to campus.
What do we know about UC’s future parking needs?
The University is considered a ‘high trip generator’ and is expected to meet specific transport requirements based on student and staff numbers as they increase over time. There will also be ongoing requirements to manage transport impacts of future expansion and redevelopment activity.
UC currently has 3,742 on campus car parks for staff, students and visitors, including 610 temporary parks for contractors and 63 mobility parks.
The 2016 District Plan requirements for UC are 2460 student parks, 677 staff parks and 64 mobility parks – a total of 3201. By 2023, 3,220 student parks, 886 staff parks and 83 mobility parks will be required under the District Plan – a total of 4,189.
UC has 2,333 bike parks when 3,840 are required under the 2016 District Plan. 4,651 bike parks will be required in 2023. There are currently 61 showers and about 1000 lockers on campus.
Why does UC not provide more on-campus parking, such as a multi-level carpark building?
The likely cost of constructing a multi-level car park building on campus is prohibitive.
What does ’best practice’ say?
Parking infrastructure represents a significant cost. Revenue is reinvested into infrastructure including parking facilities.
Best practice and international examples highlight that parking needs to be suitably priced to ensure it acts as an incentive to consider alternative modes but not so unreasonable as to exclude people with limited choice.
A recurring theme in parking literature is that there is no such thing as free parking and users should pay directly for parking facilities. Parking infrastructure (land, maintenance, parking meters) represents a cost to UC.
What alternatives to driving can I consider?
Dr Carr says the University has always promoted a range of alternative transport options to and from campus, and actively encourages uptake of those options.
“If that happens as a result of these increases, we see that as a good thing – cycling is healthy, the City Council is building a cycleway through the campus from the CBD, and we’re looking to increase on campus facilities for cyclists. Any increase in public transport use will only drive better service provision.
“We also know that many of our community would still park on the street unless parking was completely free. Lower prices would simply encourage more people to drive – at a time when more students than ever are already driving.”