Starting today, it costs less to park at Berkeley
Across-the-board reductions roll back permit fees an average of 8%
| 01 September 2009
BERKELEY — Amid this fall's steady rain of bad economic news, UC Berkeley's Parking and Transportation department (P&T) has announced a ray of sunshine for campus commuters: parking fees for the remainder of 2009-10 have been reduced starting today, saving campus permit holders an average of 8 percent monthly.
Acting P&T Director Seamus Wilmot said more than 4,000 staff and faculty permit holders and 1,000 student commuters will benefit from the reduction in parking fees.
"Thanks to cost-containment and other management efficiencies put in place over the past few years, we are able to maintain our current level of service to the campus while reducing the cost of parking to faculty, staff, and students," said Wilmot. "Particularly in difficult budget times, it's a pleasure for us to be able to alleviate some of the financial burdens we all face."
Parking rates for campus permit holders for the current year were not raised above their 2008-09 levels.
The fee reductions will remain in effect through August 2010, the duration of the employee furlough program for 2009-10. A decision on parking rates beyond that time will depend on an assessment of the campus and P&T finances next summer, Wilmot notes.
The reduced rates apply to nearly every type of parking permit P&T issues, including the "affiliate" permits — C, F, S, and Emeriti — purchased each year by most permanent staff and faculty permit-holders. For example, the monthly fee for prized central-campus ("C") permit holders will drop from $134 to $124; "F" permit holders will have their monthly charge reduced from $97 to $90. Departmental permits and reserved spaces will also see rate reductions this year.
The cost of daily permits for occasional parkers will remain unchanged — as will the cost of the occasional campus parking ticket.
Bus commuters will also benefit from the fee reductions. The popular Bear Pass, which provides substantial discounts to employees who ride AC Transit to work, will cost $34 a month for the rest of the year, a further savings over the $80 cost of a standard monthly permit from AC Transit.
As an additional cost-saving strategy, P&T has changed the permit designation for the underutilized Foothill parking lot on the campus's northeast edge — those who opt to use the Foothill lot will save money (and gain a few extra minutes of aerobic walking each day). Those who hold a "C" permits can exchange it for an "H" permit to park at Foothill, saving them $57 a month; "F" permit holders who do the same will save $23 monthly.
Current permit holders in all classes will soon receive an e-mail message from WageWorks, P&T's third-party permit vendor, detailing all of the changes to the permit fee structure. (The same information is online on the Parking & Transportation website.) The fee reductions are in effect as of Sept. 1, with payroll deductions reflecting those savings appearing on employees' Oct. 1 paychecks. Those who have prepaid their yearly fees will receive a refund for the period September 2009 through June 2010.