UR employees upset over parking increase

Posted at: 04/18/2013 7:57 PM
Updated at: 04/18/2013 7:58 PM
By: Ray Levato

Do you have to pay for parking where you work? Some people who work for our area's largest employer,  The University of Rochester Medical Center, came to News10NBC upset over the latest price increase.

Some spots in the parking garage will cost as much as $1,850 a year. The annual permits for some closer parking lots are going to cost $800 and shuttle lots are going up to $300.

The university says, as it continues to grow, parking around the medical center is getting tighter. The UR says the medical center parking operation has a continuing loss of $6 million.

Employment at the UR has already topped the 20,000. At the medical center, parking is broken down into two basic categories, those spaces that are considered remote and those lots that are considered close in.The closer the parking is the more expensive it is. The university calls this a modest increase.
But some people who complained to us say they are facing a nearly 50% increase. In one case, by as much as $250 a year.

Peter Robinson, UR Medical Center VP/COO, said, “Our ability to continue to subsidize parking at the level we have has actually gone away. So these increases are really designed to just cover the direct costs of parking here. Other institutions are doing it as well. You may be aware, for example, that RIT has just started to charge for parking and hasn't done that before.”

Tom Hilimire said, “Well, that would be not be a nice set of tires on my car. And obviously it's kind of ridiculous that you have to pay them to go to work.”

Luann said, “I understand it has to be done for them to cover their costs, but it does get expensive for the employees too. Very expensive.”

So what are those costs the university talks about? Things like maintaining the ground, paving, plowing, and re-striping and providing buses to the shuttle lots.

New parking rates go into effect on  July 1, what the university calls the upcoming 2013-14 parking year.