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Report on Parking Permit Increase

Thanks to everyone who contributed questions, ideas, and concerns to the discussion regarding the increase to parking permit costs.  We didn’t have time to ask every question, but there was considerable information discussed that we want to share with you. 

On July 31, 2015, representatives from UC-AFT, University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE), Teamsters 2010, and UAW 2865 met with UCLA Labor Relations and Lisa Koerbling, Director of Parking Services.

Director Koerbling informed us that the Transportation department is fully self-sufficient, which means all operational expenses are funded by the revenue it collects.  The parking cost increases are part of a multi-year plan to cover increases in its own expenses and to provide alternative transportation options that bring it down to its goal of 50% ride-alone rate for UCLA employees (its contribution to a systemwide Climate Action Plan).  It has no plans to expand the number of parking spaces (currently numbered around 22,000) and says the Tuesday through Thursday occupancy rate for parking spaces during the academic year is typically 97%.

An almost $3.5 million in expenses every year is directed toward “ground-rent,” which is charged by UCLA for the use of the land.  Koerbling explained that UCLA justifies its ground-rent and self-sufficiency of the department because it does not consider parking and transportation to be a part of its academic mission.

Other important budgetary expenses include an increase to the public transportation budget in order to continue subsidizing alternate transportation options (Metro, Big Blue Bus, etc.) at the same rate.  This includes an anticipated increase in ridership on lines connecting UCLA with the soon-to-open Expo Line station.  UCLA will not be running its own shuttle from the Expo line.

Koerbling also said that UCLA anticipates increasing parking costs every year for the foreseeable future (at least 10 years). We asked whether the Parking department surveys commuters to learn what impact these increases have, and were told they do not and have no plans to.  They added that they do not ever raise parking prices as a plan to disincentivize parking.

In answer to many comments we received, Koerbling told us that by policy, no UC funds can be used to buy faculty parking permits.  When asked to by departments, Parking’s response is that departments should increase the employee’s salary to cover the cost.

If you have additional questions or comments, please let your Local know.  Check out our Local page at https://ucaft.org/content/los-angeles for the next Local meeting or the contact info for your officers or field representatives.

In solidarity,

Holly Craig-Wehrle

August 25, 2015