UNC-Chapel Hill poised to start increasing parking charges this summer

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill employee cars in N7 parking lot.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill employee cars in N7 parking lot.

The cost of parking on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus is going to rise, thanks to a plan that started making its way through campus trustees’ approval process on Wednesday.

Parking permit prices are scheduled to go up by 1 percent starting this summer, with further 1 percent per year increases to follow in fiscal 2018-19 and 2019-20.

UNC officials also intend to institute weeknight parking fees, starting in 2019-20, said Cheryl Stout, the university’s director of transportation and parking.

Those changes, and associated increases in student fees, are a package that’s supposed to help UNC raise about $14.5 million over the coming five years to cover increased costs for transit, construction debts and inflation.

Stout said the proposal grows out of more than year’s worth of in-house debate on campus, and that the administration understands it will have to continue explaining it to groups on campus.

Refining and implementing its night parking element in particular will “require a lot of communication to the community” between now and 2019-20, she told the trustees’ finance committee on Wednesday.

The student fee end of the package calls for 3.5 percent increases in what students pay for parking in 2017-18 and the following year. In dollar terms, student parking charges would rise $11.08 over the two years.

Except for first-years, students would also be on the hook for weeknight parking charges starting in 2019-20, to the tune initially of $6 a year and $10 a year by 2012-22.

Beyond raising money, a key objective of the package is reducing the existing cross-subsidy that bus services like Chapel Hill Transit get from campus parking revenue. Student fees help support the bus systems, which also include things like the university’s P2P shuttle.

Beyond student fee and parking permit increases, officials also figure to increase curbside parking meter charges and the hourly rate for the use of such visitor parking areas as the Raleigh Road surface lot and the Rams Head parking deck. Each would go up by 25 cents an hour.

The trustees’ finance committee endorsed the proposal, sending it to the full Board of Trustees on Thursday. The full board almost invariably supports committee recommendations.

Ray Gronberg: 919-419-6648, @rcgronberg