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Reduced rates, end of flex permits part of parking changes

Ordinance approved by trustees simplifies permit pricing and cuts rates for employees making less than $70,000.

Car parking lot with car in foreground driving past.
The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees approved several parking changes for employees and students scheduled to take effect Aug. 1. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

At its May 16 meeting, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees approved an updated parking ordinance that reflects the first year of changes outlined in Transportation and Parking’s for 2023-28. The plan includes the following parking rate changes:

  • No more “flex” permits for hybrid employees, but a daily parking option will be available.
  • Rate reductions for employees with salaries under $70,000.
  • A flat rate of $200 for employee weeknight parking and sustainable commuting options.
  • Simplified permit pricing overall.
  • Increased maximum rates for event parking.

The new rates will go into effect Aug. 1. The updated transportation and parking ordinance, including the new parking rates, .

Nathan Knuffman, vice chancellor for finance and operations and chief financial officer, highlighted fiscal accountability in his May 15 report to the trustees’ budget, finance and infrastructure committee. He pointed to restructuring and better technology that will result in staffing savings of $1 million over the next five years and safety improvements through an upgraded camera system.

Trustee approval of the plan is the last step in a process that began more than a year ago. Executive Director Cheryl Stout and the transportation and parking staff led the development of the latest five-year plan in partnership with the Advisory Committee on Transportation and Parking, Executive Sponsors Group and a consultant team.

Since February 2023, these groups have gathered data and met with key members of the community to evaluate existing operations, develop strategies to address the future needs of the University and UNC Health and ensure revenue will cover expenses.

The plan reflects “more than a year of work put into the process and a broad representation throughout the campus,” Knuffman said. included representatives from human resources, the chancellor’s and provost’s offices, student affairs, athletics, UNC School of Medicine, UNC Hospitals, the Graduate School, Employee Forum, Faculty Council and student government.

Updates included greatly simplifying the rate structure for employees (from 72 price points to 13) and students (from 10 to three) and reducing the cost of parking for the lowest-paid employees. Employees who make less than $40,000 will pay $350 per year, with the annual fee increasing $100 for each additional $10,000 in salary up to $100,000. Zoned parking for students is $405 for the academic year, $512 for the full year.

The plan also encourages sustainable commuting options, with a flat rate of $200 for permits for electric vehicle charging, park and ride lots, and motorcycle and motorized two-wheeled vehicles. The $200 rate also applies to employee weeknight parking and retired faculty and staff.

Most of the rate increases apply to employees with salaries of $100,000 or more, visitors and those attending special events.

“This plan leverages events to pay a higher share of the overall cost of parking,” Knuffman said. “There’s also a higher ceiling so we can come closer to capturing the market value of parking for events on campus.” For example, the maximum daily rate allowed for guests attending special events like last year’s Wrexham/Chelsea soccer match went up from $20 to $100.

Still in development is a plan to work with athletics and the Rams Club to finalize rates for football and basketball game-day parking.