Budget Summation Shows How High Costs Come With Transit and Parking Services

When the Garland Avenue Parking Garage was completed in 2010, it was done at a cost of $17,377 per parking space. It would cost more to build a garage today.
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When the Garland Avenue Parking Garage was completed in 2010, it was done at a cost of $17,377 per parking space. It would cost more to build a garage today.

Within a large city or within any major university setting, when thousands and thousands of people are all trying to go about their business at the same time, congestion will form, traffic may be sluggish, and finding convenient parking can be difficult.

To deal with such issues, it is important to have a safe and efficient infrastructure in place.

The University of Arkansas Transit and Parking Department is a crucial component of the university's effort in that regard, contributing in a major logistical way to help students and employees get to where they need to be to complete their educational goals and/or their work requirements.

Transit and Parking Communications Director David Wilson said the department tries to see itself as serving a major supporting role for all of the university.

"Our job is to help everyone get to where they're headed on campus," he said. "That means having plenty of parking coupled with quality bus transportation."

But those things come at a cost.

Transit and Parking Director Gary Smith has often explained the expenditures that are common when providing those services.

"To construct a brand new parking garage," he said, "it would cost about $24,000 per parking space. To build a new parking lot would cost almost $6,000 per space. And those prices do not include the cost of the land or the annual cost of maintenance."

Currently, Transit and Parking must allocate millions of dollars each year just to pay the debt service on existing garages.

Those figures are in a budget summary projection for fiscal year 2019. You can review those numbers, along with other revenue and expenditures through a PDF of Transit and Parking 2019 Budget.

"Students, faculty members, and staff members are like any other individual," Wilson said. "They do not want prices to go up on anything, including the cost of a parking permit, and we understand that."

But parking, just like anything else, can cost a great deal of money.

As a result, Transit and Parking—like many businesses or organizations—must address complicated challenges with limited resources.

One promotional poster that Transit and Parking has in the Stadium Drive Parking Facility has a message that reads, "We're not just getting you to class, we're getting you to graduation." A similar sentiment is on the Transit and Parking Instagram account on social media.

"Transit and Parking," Wilson said, "is not merely an apparatus to get people from point A to point B (although we are committed to that), but it is also a department that sees itself as a major contributor to the overall educational mission of the university."

Contacts

David Wilson, communications director
Transit and Parking
479-575-6089, dbw010@uark.edu

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