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Posted on Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Parking permit fee increase OK'd by U-M regents

By Kellie Woodhouse

University of Michigan regents approved a one-year freeze on its parking permit rates and three years of increases to its two highest-tier passes.

The Board of Regents approved parking rates for 2013 to 2017 during their public meeting Thursday held at U-M's Dearborn campus.


A rendering of the structure approved for Wall Street.

University of Michigan rendering

U-M Chief Financial Officer Timothy Slottow said revenue from parking passes will go toward managing and expanding the parking system, paying for free bus passes for employees and funding a renovation project for the school's unions and gyms.

He said the school is able to have a one-year freeze because U-M Parking and Transportation Services of has "some efficiencies" in its operations.

"We don't have to increase rates in order to manage the system" this year, Slottow said, joking: "I haven't received any thank you's yet from faculty and staff."

For 2014 fiscal year, rates will stay at current levels for the two tiers of passes that allow drivers to park within walking distance of core areas of campus, which annually are $1,577 for gold permits and $667 for blue permits. By 2017 the cost will have increased 12.5 percent to $1,774 for gold permits and 8.25 percent to $722 for blue permits.

For yellow and oranges passes —the two lowest-level permits that cost $153 and $76, respectively and usually require parkers to bus into core campus areas— costs will remain unchanged until 2017, when they'll rise 3 percent.

The university also will raise its contribution to employee's parking cost to $163 by 2017, a $13 increase.

This year 1,676 employees have gold passes, 14,651 have blue passes, 7,244 have yellow passes and 2,762 have orange passes.

Rates for permits to city structures in Ann Arbor are $1,680 per year.

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Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Sat, May 18, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Just curious - is the Wolverine Tower lot still all orange grade, as I was when I worked in that building?


Sun, May 19, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

Noooo - *I* wasn't orange - it was the lot.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

Here's how the U could do it. Charge employees to park in untaxed University constructed parking garages (that used to be buildings on the city's property tax rolls). Then give the University employees the money to pay for it (funded from increases in tuition). Finally let the darling public park in the same garages and pay the University for doing so. End result: The university gets the public to finance its employees parking. Good thinking!


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

Rather amazing how every time an administrator needs a raise or bonus, there is no problem, but otherwise the story is we are out of money.


Sat, May 18, 2013 : 3:27 a.m.

I know an Admin that makes $110K, this person is always talking about how my department doesn't have much money and we have to cut back.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

46% increase for one guy...


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 6:18 p.m.

re: @Michael ...."This also brings up the point of living so far away from your place of employment. It saves TONS of time and money to choose to live closer to your place of work. Employers should incentivize this as well to encourage not only less driving, but to encourage their employees to be healthy (which is in their, as well as your, best interest, as it lowers health care costs)!" Tell you what. You buy my house and I'll move closer to my work.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.


dading dont delete me bro

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

do you actually think they would turn a $$ revenue maker down? come on now...

John of Saline

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

Years ago, I was in the U-M Parking Office. On a bulletin board, they listed the rates for the various colors of permits--except the gold permit. I assumed it was because, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. (As it turned out, the gold permits were sold out. Maybe not expensive enough at that point.)

John of Saline

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

I see. Makes sense.

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:16 p.m.

I know that gold permits are only available to certain employees, such as doctors and faculty who move around campus a lot. This could be another reason.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

I just find it atrocious that they will pay a football coach and alth. director millions, yet make workers who make 10 -12 per hour, pay to park. Amazing. The U of M is such a leach.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

If the goal is to get people who work in the central campus and hospital area to park further out, it would work well for the central campus folks while the hospital/med school area still needs two buses - AATA to get to campus and the UM shuttle to get them to that area. If a direct shuttle was offered to those that want to utilize the State St. parking lot (for instance), I'm sure more Hospital/Med School people would jump at that chance.

Interesting Ideas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

The University of Michigan really needs to pay their support staff a more livable wage. The professors make 100,000+ a year, but some of the most vital support staff make less than 30,000 a year. For a single person this is NOT a livable wage. While retirement benefits are great - one cannot utilize these or the Health Care benefits properly, if at all due to the low wage of pay. I don't understand why the University does see this. The staff are the most vital support system to the university. Without is - there would be some real issues.

Interesting Ideas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 6:18 p.m.

I meant doesn't see this... Well despite the fact I love my job, the lack of pay is forcing me to look else where. That seems to be the power we have at this point, unless all of the staff would Unionize and we could set some pay limitations. I understand making the universities affordable for students - but there needs to be more balance of income for support staff. And this parking thing - it's a bit insane and inane.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

@Ghost...isn't $100,000 six figures?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

It's not the faculty salaries that create the disparity for the support staff. It's the excessively bloated size of director/dean roles at the university. Almost all of whom make six figure salaries, or just under.

music to my ear

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

really that is funny I dont have to pay to park at my work, I am so grateful for that perk my work provide ,I am glad they appreciate me. and the u of m really does need that money,it would be nice if they used that money to buy their employees lunch, on employees appreciation day.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 6:24 p.m.

Jay, that is precisely what I am suggesting. The situation and times have changed to be what they are. The university and Ann Arbor are not going to stop growing, therefore the appropriate measures should be built into the city's infrastructure to handle the growth.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

The reality is that in the old days the people who worked at the U actually lived in town. Now you are suggesting that anyone doesn't understand you live in another county is out to lunch.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Michael, Your suggestion to drive from 30 miles away, park the car at a commuter lot, ride public transit such as a bus, then walk from the closest bus stop to the place of employment would add about one hour of transit time to an already 30-40 minute commute. This is not feasible for most people, especially those with dependents.. You're effectively doubling the commute time and lengthening the time spent away from home or at leisure/rest. I do expect employers or the city itself to cover the cost of ample parking and infrastructure t handle additional numbers of people who do not live in the city in which they are employed. Given the recent and current economic climate in Michigan, folks are traveling farther and farther for good jobs and stable employment. You are not in touch with the realities of the situation.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

D, so is your solution to just simply say add more cars to the road and build more parking lots and structures? And make your employer pay for those construction costs? Not only is that not good for business, its not good for the environment. If you live 30-40 minutes away from your place of employment, you still have options other than walking, biking, or taking public transit. You can EASILY drive your car to a park-and-ride lot right outside the city and from that point, take a bus into downtown, bike to downtown, or walk (depending on the location). This also brings up the point of living so far away from your place of employment. It saves TONS of time and money to choose to live closer to your place of work. Employers should incentivize this as well to encourage not only less driving, but to encourage their employees to be healthy (which is in their, as well as your, best interest, as it lowers health care costs)!


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Sure, Michael. Let's ask people who already have to drive 30-40 minute commutes to walk, bike or take transit from their homes. You're quite out of touch.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Employers in downtown areas in cities such as Ann Arbor should not subsidize the cost of parking for its employees. Why? Because it simply adds congestion to Ann Arbor's already congested roadways, which is not good for the environment or anybody else using the public right-of-way. What employers should be doing is PAYING employees not to drive and subsidize the cost of a yearly bus pass. The cost would be minuscule because it costs employers a lot of money to continue to maintain their parking lots and/or structure. Its also much healthier for their employees to walk, bike, or take transit into work.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

As a University employee it is hard to stomach that the price we pay for parking is going to improve STUDENT ONLY BUILDINGS. Why not build something SOLELY for the STAFF. Slottow is big on telling people how great UM is as a place to work, but they do not give enough back to the staff in non-salary and non-benefit ways. They want the staff to be healthy but do not have a rec center where students cannot go or do not give staff easier access to football tickets etc. I would not have a problem with my parking rates going up if the increase was going to go towards something for the staff but not to remodel the Union and gyms that are primarily for students (undergrads at that).


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:35 p.m.

What do I not understand? UM gives you $163 for parking and charges you $150. Doesn't this mean they're actually paying you to park?


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

I would take the tuition support opportunity which is offered to staff over better access to football games but our priorities must be different.

Kai Petainen

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

the Wall Street parking lot... I'll believe it when I see it. I'm not 100% convinced that the city/university have given up on the Fuller lot


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

Believe it. It's scheduled to being in June. They're going to need it because they're closing most of the parking on N. Ingalls due to the new School of Nursing construction.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Thanks for the picture reminding Northsiders of their soon to be congested neighborhood streets. The Wall street structure is bad news for that area.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

nothing like gouging your employees to come to work


Sat, May 18, 2013 : 1:32 a.m.

Agreed. My employer won't cook my meals for me either, or do my laundry. Still waiting to hear when my boss will get around to replacing my roof for me. One would think that the U could at least eliminate the very real and high costs of storing vehicles in a dense and in-demand environment for 8 hours a day without charging me for it.

social conscience

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 10:54 a.m.

Mr. Slottow, I'll send you a thank you if instead of renovating a perfectly good building or gym you slice off a little of that funding for rain water retention from any one of your myriad parking lots?