Parking Pricing/Cash Out
By offering free or discounted parking, employers are indirectly encouraging their workers to drive alone. Statistics say 75 percent of employers in the U.S. and 90 percent of suburban employers provide free or discounted parking to their employees.
Parking fees and parking cash outs are two strategies that can reverse this trend.
Parking fees are usually imposed in urban or other areas when market conditions such as severe worksite parking space shortages warrant it. Charging a fee for employee parking at the worksite makes driving alone a less attractive option for those employees.
Employee opposition to parking fees can be reduced by offering free or discounted parking exclusively to employees who share a ride. Parking fee revenue can be used to subsidize employee transportation programs or to award a one-time salary increase to offset parking costs.
Parking cash out is a newer strategy that can be administered by an employer or a Transportation Management Association (TMA). This plan allows an employee who rides the train or bus, vanpools or carpools to cash in the use of a single parking space on a daily basis. The employee earns the cash value of that parking space.
This strategy entails daily monitoring and fees, monthly parking passes with graduated fees and discounts for ridesharing or non-peak parking and parking cash out rebates.
What benefits do employers received from parking fees?
Charging parking fees can:
Where can parking pricing be successful?
- Reduce demand for parking
- Generate revenue for employee transportation programs
- Lower costs related to providing parking
Parking pricing can be successful in areas with limited parking supply, in communities without free street parking, near other employers that are charging fees and where access to parking facilities can be controlled.
It is most readily accepted by employees who are already paying a parking fee or whose employer can offer parking discounts to ridesharers.
How can employers institute parking pricing?
For parking pricing to be successful, it is important for employers to reduce or remove any negative implications. The local transportation management association (TMA) can help you:
- Discuss fee proposals and options for offsetting benefits with employees and unions
- Meet with nearby employers and residents to discuss control of parking spillover
- Determine fee amounts, including any graduated fees or ridesharing discounts
- Consider phasing options, such as gradually increasing fees, or fees only for new hires
- Explore other complimentary alternative mode strategies, such as public transit, vanpools, preferential parking.
- Decide how to accommodate customer/visitor parking.
- Choose a fee collection mechanism such as monthly passes, payroll deductions, rebates, meters, attendants.
- Set up, enforce and monitor the system