Dear Transportation SWATeam, [Sorry for the barrage of emails...this is the last one for this morning!]
I met with Michelle Wahl from Parking late last week, and she had some very useful comments on the iCAP draft that I thought I should share with you:
1) She mentioned that in years past, she used to receive "idling reports" on her vehicles, which must have been equipped with some sort of system that tracked when the vehicles were idling. This raised the question of whether such technology could be deployed widely on our fleet, rather than focusing only on "class 6 and above trucks" (neither of us knew exactly what that means).
2) She was concerned about the financial aspects of providing additional opportunities for people to purchase less than full-time parking privileges in lots with wait lists...this is probably something that deserves further discussion. If Parking allows someone to drop their full-time parking pass for a particular lot and instead purchase less than full-time for the same spot, their revenue will decrease. This is concerning because Parking is legally required to be self-supporting -- they cannot receive any subsidy from campus, nor can they make a profit.
3) She recommended adding a recommendation that parking rates be increased to provide a dis-incentive for single-occupancy vehicle use.
This would also be essential if the number of parking permits sold were to decrease, as Parking's costs are essentially fixed. Raising rates would be a challenge because they are subject to collective bargaining, but it has been successfully done on other campuses (including UIC).
Having an explicit call for this in the iCAP might help provide ammunition for such efforts.
4) She recommended some investigation of the subsidy that Parking currently provides to MTD. At present, Parking pays over $500K per year for this, ostensibly to support the buses that run to the "shuttle lot" (E-14, I think). But this amount greatly exceeds the total revenue that Parking receives from selling permits in the shuttle lot. She thought it was worth making sure that the amount Parking is contributing towards the MTD is the appropriate amount, because any funds that could be "saved" there could be directed towards other sustainability-related initiatives within Parking.
5) She pointed out that there are now 18 "Level 1" charging stations for electric vehicles on campus, and Parking has plans to install some "Level 2" charging stations in 2015. She thought it might be worth showcasing this work on page 29 of the current draft, and I am inclined to agree.