UNC-Chapel Hill wants to institute new permits and fees for night and satellite parking to spread the burden of rising transportation costs.
In the next five years, the university hopes to begin charging for day parking in satellite park-and-ride lots and in campus spaces at night. There's no charge for either currently, but officials say it's needed in order to meet costs expected to rise $6.1 million by 2015-16.
"We're facing some significant financial commitments," Jeff McCracken, UNC's public safety director, said Wednesday following a meeting with UNC trustees. "The real effort is to try to equitably distribute costs."
McCracken's proposal, developed with a private consultant and created with input from students and staff, would for the first time charge university workers to park in the several commuter lots around town.
Those lots, including the Friday Center lot on N.C. 54, are used heavily by UNC employees who either can't park on campus or choose not to pay to do so.
Those lots are costly to operate, McCracken said. The cost of the new parking permits would cost between $227 and $390 a year depending on the employee's salary.
McCracken acknowledged there would be some sticker shock for workers unaccustomed to paying for the park-and-ride option.
"But it is one of our most expensive endeavors," he said. "You have to have very frequent bus service or people won't use it."
Read more on this in Thursday's News & Observer.