An Update on Changes to Parking Subsidies for 2015/16
June 25, 2015
The UWM Student Association has worked hard the last year. In addition to a number of other ventures, one of our main projects has been restructuring parking, a topic that affects everyone on campus.
In an effort to enhance the attractiveness of sustainable transportation, increase pedestrian and bicycle safety on campus, and improve availability of parking for those who must drive, the Student Association, at the request of the Parking and Transit Office and the Nelson Nygaard Parking and Transportation Study, decided to decrease funding to subsidized parking, a service for which all students were paying about $1,500 per parking spot. However, the majority of UWM students were not using the provided subsidized parking.
This decision will positively impact campus in several ways. Reallocations encourage students living in the neighborhood surrounding campus to bus, bike, or walk, thus helping to improve parking for UWM students who live a driving distance from campus or have other extenuating circumstances and must drive. One of the chief complaints received was that there were no spaces left in parking garages for commuters. Students were paying $1.3 million for parking, but commuters weren’t actually getting to use those spots. Furthermore, most of those paying this price have never used the parking garages.
In addition, this policy change will cultivate a more modern and sustainable transportation culture for UWM students in years to come. Ultimately, the decrease in funding will assist UWM to provide parking for those who truly need it, while making strides to become a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly campus.
We want to make sure this transition is smooth for students and that they have all the information as we move away from subsidized parking. If you’d like to be more involved in these conversations, or even sit on the Student Transportation Committee to help influence decision-making around parking and transportation on campus.