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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

University of Massachusetts Boston Proposal To Increase Parking Fees

The University of Massachusetts, Boston, proposes to increase its parking fees in order to support the increased costs associated with the new campus center and to create a revenue stream to support borrowing to repair the garage. The additional buses required to maintain level service once the campus center opens will increase shuttle bus costs by $600,000. The total project cost to repair the garage and plaza pavers is estimated at approximately $30 million. Our plan is to complete deferred maintenance repairs to the garage structure in five years beginning in FY 2002. In the sixth year, we will complete the necessary repairs by replacing the plaza pavers which have caused much of the garage damage.Phase I of the garage project will be completed in summer 2001 using state dollars at a cost of approximately $1.4 million. While we will continue to seek a majority of the remaining funds through the state legislature, the immediacy of the problem requires that we begin this project as soon as possible. Therefore, we are proposing that we borrow $11.2 million of the remaining funds to continue progress through 2004, and request $20 million in state funds to complete the final two phases in 2005 and 2006.Our plan is to borrow funds from the UMass Building Authority in two segments. The first $2.6 million for Phase II, to be completed in summer 2002, will be expended from the $7 million already borrowed for other projects. The remaining $8.6 million will be borrowed through the Building Authority in 2002. In order to produce a revenue stream to support this borrowing, we are proposing a significant increase in the daily parking rate from $3.50 a day to $6 a day in FY 2002, and $7 per day in FY 2003, with a five percent escalation each year thereafter. We will institute proportionate increases in discount pass rates and we will initiate other programs increasing reserved parking to increase revenues. The revenue generated by this increase will result in a surplus for the first two years which will provide revenues for short falls in years three, four, and five, and will establish a reserve for preventative maintenance. (See attachment A)

Clearly such an increase will have a significant impact on faculty, staff and students. However, we believe it is a necessary step in order to preserve parking on the campus. Our discounted passes, pre-tax payment plans, and increasing expansion of public transportation options should ameliorate the impact.

The following report provides background information and justification for this increase.

Background

The University of Massachusetts Boston is a 100 percent commuter campus with approximately 13,000 students and 1500 FTE faculty and staff. There are two levels of the garage supplying 1512 parking spaces and an outside lot supplying 778 spaces for a total of 2,290 spaces. The parking serves approximately 45 percent of the University Community on any given class day. Fifty-five percent arrive on campus via public transportation. (This is down from previous years when it was closer to 60 percent. The shuttle bus system has the capacity to carry more passengers.) In an effort to encourage public transportation, the parking fees support a free shuttle service from the red line MBTA station at the JFK/UMass stop.The garage was opened in 1974 and is twenty-seven years old. In 1989, serious deterioration of the garage was documented in the Comprehensive Facilities Plan by SSV&K Engineers and in an Inspection Report by the firm of ASEC Engineers. The expansion joints were being compromised by leakage from the plaza above. As stated in the Comprehensive Facilities Plan, “The problem of leaking expansion joints must be dealt with immediately.” Without funds to completely repair the garage, wooden posts and beams were and continue to be erected in the worst areas to ensure continued structural soundness, however, the deterioration continues and requires replacement of expansion joints and repair of concrete columns, beams and slabs.

The campus received authorization for $4,250,000 in funds in the 1995 capital bill to repair the expansion joints and beams and the garage floors. However, a study completed in 1999 by Anderson-Nichols indicated that the deterioration was well beyond the scope of the amount allocated in the 1995 legislation. The new study indicated that the estimated construction cost (ecc) for a phased repair of the garage and the plaza above would be $23,398,000, or an estimated total project cost of $32,587,300 (ecc x 1.35.) Of course, the project would have to be phased in order to keep the garage operational and maintain the maximum number of spaces during the construction.Based on the 1999 Garage and Plaza Structural Conditions Survey prepared by Anderson-Nichols, five phases of repair work were identified. The first has a construction cost of just over $1,000,000. The Commonwealth, through the Division of Capital Asset Management, will fund this work, which will start this Spring/Summer. There is no funding source identified for the remaining four phases.To fund these additional phases and halt the continuing deterioration of the garage, the we must take action. While we will pursue further funding through thelegislature, the immediacy of the problem requires that we move forward with the phased repairs outlined in the Anderson-Nichols study. Thus, the campus, as a last resort, is proposing a substantial increase in parking fees to support the necessary borrowing to undertake this essential repair work.The last increase in the daily parking rate and parking pass system was in 1993. (From $3 to $3.50) In 2001 dollars the $3.50 is equivalent to $2.85. To have the same buying power as we had in 1993 we would need to charge at least $4.30 just to stay even. An increase in parking is needed to support the repair of the garage, and to support the increasing cost of operating the garage and transportation services.

Garage Operations Today

Passes and Daily FeesPresently there are 2290 usable parking spaces in the garage – 14 are reserved, 12 are dedicated to Public Safety vehicles, and 29 are HP. Approximately 56 percent of all customers pay the daily usage fee ($3.50) in cash for each use. Approximately 44 percent are pass users. The ratio has increased for pass users from approximately 32 percent six years ago. This growth is anticipated to continue to increase, in part due to the pre tax payroll deduction program.Presently there is a range of parking passes available for customers with the monthly pass ($55 a month) continuing to be the most widely used (about 30 percent of all passes.) Approximately 400 faculty and staff pay for these passes via payroll deduction of which about 350 are pre tax. A semester pass ($200 per 14 week semester) has moderate usage (about 20 percent.) About 200 students charge their semester pass fee to their term bill; approximately 50 faculty and staff pay via payroll deduction; the remainder pay by check, cash, or credit card. There are five Multipark passes (5 @ $17, 10 @ $33, 30 @ $96, 45 @ $140, and 60 @ $180) and in total comprise about 50 percent of all pass usage. The 10 Park Pass alone, however, represents more than half of all multipark pass usage, making it nearly as popular as the monthly pass. No payroll deduction is authorized for multipark passes; they are purchased by cash, check, or credit card.The most notable future increase in expenditure for Parking and Transportation will occur when the shuttle bus operation is relocated to the new Campus Center. Shuttle bus hours operated will necessarily increase by approximately 53 percent to maintain present headways (frequency of service) due to the more distant Perimeter Road location of the Campus Center. Further, the anticipated hourly contract rate in 2004 will be approximately 10 percent more than the current fiscal year rate. The initial annual dollar impact of these events is expected to be approximately $600,000.The current maintenance status of the garage is, at best,-marginally serviceable. Approximately 110 spaces have been closed to create space for shoring timbers to support structural beams. Both the Upper Level and Lower Level decks have sustained serious deterioration and concrete spalling.

150 LotPresently there are 16 reserved parking spaces in the ISO Lot adjacent to the Service Building. These spaces are sold on a first come, first served basis at the annual rate of $500 and generate $8,000 of revenue for the Parking Office trust fund. All 16 customers pay for their use via payroll deduction. There are 6 employees on the waiting list for a vacancy. The fee structure for this lot has remained unchanged for more than 10 years. No additional space is available within the lot to increase the space allotment without substantially altering the operational use by the Facilities Dept.

Inside Reserved ParkingPresently there are 11 reserved parking spaces in the Lower Level garage plus an additional three spaces allotted for visitors to the Chancellor’s Office. The 11 revenue- generating spaces are sold only to Vice Chancellors, Deans or Directors at the surcharged annual rate of $220 and generate $2,420 of annual revenue. Ten spaces (including the Chancellor’s visitors spaces) are located in the Quinn area, one space in Science, one in McCormack, and two in Wheatley. All 11 customers pay for their use via payroll deduction. All reserved parking customers are subject also to the garage exit fee for which a variety of payment methods, including payroll deduction, are used. The fee structure for reserved spaces has remained unchanged for more than 10 years. There is no waiting list.

120 LotThis is a presently unused lot behind the Clark Center that potentially could accommodate up to a maximum of 140 additional reserved spaces. This lot could be developed and made suitable for automobile parking for an estimated cost of $35,000 to include all automated parking system hardware (gates, pass readers, loops, etc.,) software (statistical data collection, counts, etc.,) lot striping, wheelstops, delta island and pedestals, fencing, but excluding drainage and power installation.

Plan To Repair the Garage

The 1999 survey by Anderson-Nichols clearly indicated that while the garage continued to be structurally sound, the repairs could not be delayed any longer.Therefore, the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) began the design process for completion of phase one, in which the expansion joints of the Upper Level accessroad in front of the Administration Building will be repaired/replaced, during the summer of 2001. The total project cost for phase one is $1.4 million, and will expend the remaining funds in the state appropriation from the 1995 Higher Education Capital Bill.We propose to complete all five phases of construction in five years, with the bulk of the work being done in the summers of 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. The plaza pavers will be repaired in 2006. This schedule will allow for minimal disruption of academic activities and we expect that the completion of the upper level/lower level connection in the Campus Center construction project will further diminish the impact on faculty, staff and students.

Phased Repair Plan

1. 2001 Construction SeasonReplacement and Repair of the Expansion Joints in the Upper Level Road which will require closing the entrance to the Upper Level Garage and restricting the access road between the Administration Building and the Upper Level Garage as well as reducing the Lower Level entrance to one lane during the summer. The estimated project cost is $1.4 million.2. 2002 Construction SeasonRepairs to the Upper Level and Lower Level garage slab with the footprint under McCormack Hall and Wheatley Hall. The estimated project cost is $2.6 million3. 2003 Construction SeasonRepairs to the Upper Level and Lower Level garage concrete beams, joists and slabs in an area between the Quinn Administration Building and the Science Building. The estimated project cost is $4 million.4. 2004 Construction SeasonContinuation of repairs to the Upper Level and Lower Level garage columns, beams joists and slabs in the area under the Science Building. The estimated project cost is $4.6 million.5. 2005 Construction SeasonRepair of the beams, joists and expansion joints along the main garage roadway between the Science Building and McCormack and Wheatley Halls sections and section of the garage. The estimated project cost is $6.1 million.6. 2006 Construction SeasonRepair to the Plaza, which will include replacement of pavers, repair to the sub structure and it’s waterproofing membrane. The estimated preliminary cost is $14 million.

Without legislative approval for the funds needed for the remaining phases, and knowing that the repairs must be completed, the campus plans to borrow funds through the UMass Building Authority for the next three phases and seek additional funds fromthe Legislature to complete the final two phases. We estimate that the debt service forthe borrowed-funds will be approximately $1,000,000 per year for 20 years. In order toprovide a revenue source for the debt service needed to pay for this borrowing, we propose the following actions.

1. Increase the Fee for Outside Reserved Spaces. The 150 lot currently has16 reserved spaces sold at an annual rate of $500 annually. We propose raising this fee to $750 annually, producing additional revenue of $4,000 the first year.2. Increase the Number of Outside Reserved Spaces. The paved area adjacent to the Clark Athletic Center could be converted to 140 reserved spaces. At $750 per space, this would generate $105,000 in revenue the first year.3. Increase the Fee for Inside Reserved Spaces. Currently, there are 11 reserved spaces at $220 per space, per year (these customers also pay regular parking fees.) We propose an increase to $500 per year for these spaces, generating an increase in revenue of $3,080 the first year.4 Increase the Inside Reserved Parking Spaces. We propose to increase the number of inside reserved parking spaces by 89, for a total of 100 reserved spaces, allocated on a first come, first served basis. At $500 per space, this would generate $44,500 in additional revenue the first year.5. Increase the Daily Parking Rate. We propose to increase the daily parking rate to $6 per day in FY 2002, and $7 per day in FY 2003, with appropriate increases in the various discounted pass options.6. Implement a Parking Rate Escalation Plan. Wage rates, bus contract costs, and routine repair and maintenance costs escalate each year. We believe that small yearly price escalations will allow us to address these issues in a logical and planned way. We propose a 5 percent per year increase beginning in FY 2004.

Should this plan be approved, we will implement these increases July 1, 2001. In the spring semester, we will begin the process of discussions with student, staff and faculty governance and unions. We will also need to market the new reserved spaces and make any adjustments necessitated by these discussions.

While raising parking fees is always a controversial step, it is nevertheless a necessary and responsible action that the campus must take. We must act now to preserve the garage as a resource for the campus community.