While nearly all Duke
parking permit rates won't increase this year, permit prices will rise
beginning next summer as costs for providing and maintaining parking facilities
on a growing campus continue to increase.
Duke officials ask
students, faculty and staff to consider alternative transportation options to
save money on commuting and parking and also to help Duke move toward becoming
carbon neutral as part of its Climate Action Plan.
As of Jan. 1, figures
show that Duke students, faculty and staff own about 27,000 permits for parking
at Duke, while only 1,300 community members are registered to travel to Duke
using an alternative option. That means less than 5 percent of registered
commuters are using alternative transportation such as biking, carpooling or
riding the bus to Duke.
"Most of our
students, faculty and staff are traveling to Duke by themselves, and we should
focus on how to reduce that group to ease congestion on and around campus," said Sam Veraldi, director of Parking and Transportation Services. "Duke has
subsidized parking and transportation for a long time, and the upward pressure
of costs and reduction of subsidies will force Duke to have a new business
model for Parking and Transportation Services."
Permit renewal starts Monday, June 13. Because nearly all permits expire on Aug. 15, there is no action required by faculty and staff who pay by payroll deduction and don't plan to change their permit. A permit's expiration date is printed on the bottom of the placard. New permits are mailed to an employee's listed address with Parking and Transportation, which is most commonly their home address.
Current faculty and staff who do not have a parking permit, wish to
change permit types or do not pay through payroll deduction should visit
the Parking & Transportation offices on Campus Drive or in Duke Clinics.
Veraldi said his
department has been developing transit strategies and examining Duke's permit
rates and structures to ensure they are equitable and address increasing
parking and transit costs next year. For example, he said, one of the cheapest
campus parking permits costs customers $6.80 per month but costs Duke nearly an
additional $50 per space each month to lease. Parking and Transportation also
cover the cost of Duke's own transportation systems, like Duke buses.
Changing the way
people commute to Duke is a big part of the university's Climate Action Plan,
which calls to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on campus by
about 1,400 vehicles by 2012. With parking permit renewal taking place through
July, Duke community members have a chance to try other commuting options to
save time and money.
incentives like up to 24 free individual daily parking passes and emergency
rides home through Triangle Transit for community members who bike, carpool or
join a vanpool. Duke also offers bus passes up to 60 percent off, and there's
the fare-free Bull City Connector.
"When we announce an
increase to permit prices next July, we want to make sure we have options
available for those who can't absorb an increase and would prefer alternative
transportation," Veraldi said. "It's a continued effort to lower Duke's carbon
footprint and ease traffic congestion on and around campus."