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Visitor parking rates to rise, reflecting higher costs

DU has increased its visitor parking rates.

Parking has gotten a lot easier in the past year for visitors at the University of Denver, but convenience comes at a price.

On July 1, the rates for metered visitor spots rose to $1.50 an hour, from $1.25. And those all-day scratch permits departments purchase for visitors will go from $7 to $8 a day.

In addition, parking for events will go up to $6 for a half day and $8 for a full day.

DU Parking Manager Buddy Knox plans a “Parking 101” day later this summer to work with staff members who plan events for individual departments.

Knox says he knows no one likes to pay more, but the costs reflect higher fees and expenses the parking department faces, and those higher costs also mean great convenience for visitors. Gone are the days when motorists had to dig for coins to park on campus, Knox notes, and with the convenience of credit card machines at parking stations, drivers can buy some cheap “insurance” in the form of an extra hour.

As a result, DU parking monitors have written fewer tickets since the new machines were installed during the past year. A few extra cents at a meter is a lot better than a $30 ticket, Knox says.

“All these improvements we’ve made, it’s really been about customer satisfaction,” he says. “We’re not making any more money. We just made it easier for our customers.”

While Knox says his department has tried to hold cost increases to an average of 2 percent for student, faculty and staff parking permits, the department’s costs continue to rise. The new credit card machines mean DU has to pay credit card company fees. In addition, labor costs have gone up, paint costs more and signage costs more.

“Our costs of doing business went up. Like everyone else, we have to make that up somewhere,” he says.

The department, Knox says, funds itself without support from the University. He says parking takes in what it costs to run parking services. If there’s any excess revenue, it goes to the University’s general fund.

In the 2010–11 fiscal year, revenue from just the metered parking spots on campus generated $749,000. At a busy set of spots, such as those at the south end of the Mary Reed Building, one spot can generate more than $750 in a three-month span.

Across campus, there are a total 5,294 spots, with 593 of them metered visitor spots, although both numbers reflect the spaces at the Penrose Library, which are out of service until construction there is complete.



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