University parking space prices will not increase for the first time in 10 years

The drop in demand for parking spaces has been attributed to the rise in popularity of U-Passes and Metropasses.

Kari Petrie

Following a decreased demand for spaces in the past year, Parking and Transportation Services does not plan to raise general parking rates for the next school year.

For at least a decade, parking rates at the University have gone up each year. In the last school year, however, parking revenue declined as up to 3,000 spaces were left open daily, Parking and Transportation Services Director Bob Baker told a University Senate committee in April.

He attributed the drop in demand and revenue to more students living on or near campus, the rise in popularity of U-Passes and Metropasses and that parking prices might be “at market.”

Parking and Transportation Services Spokeswoman Lori Ann Vicich said those conditions factored into the decision not to raise rates.

She said mostly, however, the department wanted to help students and employees who face tuition increases and wage freezes in the coming year.

The University lost 15 parking lots due to construction over the past five years, but the University also built several large ramps, Vicich said. There are now 2,000 more spaces than there were five years ago.

Carpool lot rates will remain $1.75 per day, with the daily lot rate staying $3.25. Parking in the lot located near the Earle Brown Continuing Education Center is $5.

Hourly parking facilities start at $2.50 for the first hour with a maximum of $12 per day.

Special event parking rates will increase one dollar to $9 for major events and $7 for minor events. A Gophers men’s hockey game is a major event, while high school tournaments are minor events.

The University Board of Regents will vote on the rate proposal at its June 26 meeting.

Kari Petrie covers the Board of Regents and administration. She welcomes comments at [email protected]