On July 15, Irma Henderson, the director of UCR’s Transportation Services, sent out a letter informing students that Transportation Services implemented an overall average permit rate increase of 4.50% for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The rate increase officially went into effect on Sept. 1, 2019.

In the letter, Henderson noted that Transportation Services has been involved in several projects that were intended to increase available parking while planning for the construction of a parking structure. In an interview with The Highlander, Henderson stated, “The primary driver for this rate increase is to fund the construction of the parking structure at the east end of Parking Lot 13. The project is expected to start Winter 2020 and completed in Winter 2021.”

In the letter, Henderson also listed other projects that Transportation Services was involved in. She stated that Transportation Services resurfaced the majority of campus roads. Lighting for campus roadways as well as parking lots were updated with brighter, energy efficient LED lighting. Transportation Services also completed the renovation of Lot 50 to add 361 gold parking spaces to the current parking supply. Transportation Services contracted with local churches and businesses to lease their available parking for student commuter overflow parking. They developed a plan to accommodate construction worker parking for a number of building projects. Transportation Services began the design-build process for the parking structure on Lot 13.

Henderson noted in her letter that since Transportation Services is an auxiliary service, meaning that users of the service pay for the cost of operations, the permit rate increase was implemented to generate revenues to fund the construction of new and replacement parking inventory. Gold parking permit rates increased from $117 quarterly to $121.50. This is a 3.85% increase. In a 5.15% increase, Blue parking permit rates increased from $145.50 quarterly to $153 quarterly. Red parking permit rates increased by 6.57% quarterly from $205.50 quarterly to $219 quarterly.

Transportation Services is also introducing a new parking permit. The new permit category, Orange, can be purchased online through the Transportations Services website and is priced at $42. Henderson told the Highlander that this parking permit will allow users to park in lots that Transportation Services has leased from the community. Transportation Services currently has two of these lots, one behind University Extension at the International Village apartment complex and one on Blaine at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Orange permits can park in these lots all day. After 6 p.m., Orange permits can park in the Blue sections of Lot 1, 6, 9, 13, 23 and 24.

Another change that Transportation Services is implementing is the time that regular permit holders have access to their assigned lots. Henderson told the Highlander, “As the campus has been growing, we have found that many staff and faculty permit holders are staying on campus later for meetings, classes, office hours, etc.” She noted that over the past few years, they have been getting feedback from staff and faculty that they are unable to get parking in their assigned parking lots while there is sufficient parking in the Gold lots. “This change was implemented to accommodate the lengthening campus ‘business’ day,” stated Henderson.

Parking permits will also no longer be required in marked Gold parking spaces (Lots 26, 30, 32, 50 and 51) after 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day on weekends. Permits will still be required in all other locations. This change, stated Henderson, was implemented because “We typically have ample parking spaces in the Gold lots in the evenings and weekends and want to encourage more people to utilize campus resources during these times.” She went on to state, “We are hoping that academic departments, student organizations, and community members can benefit from this change while also decreasing the traffic and parking demands during the day.”

Henderson encouraged students who have any questions regarding the new changes to contact her at irmahenderson@ucr.edu.