UH parking fees likely to rise


POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Parking fees for athletic and other events at lower-campus lots at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are likely go up to $5 from the current $3 starting July 1, and to $6 next year.

The increase is part of a package of parking rate changes before the Board of Regents tomorrow. The board last approved a parking increase in 1993.

UH-Manoa is asking for a 65 percent increase in annual parking permit fees through five years on the lower campus and an 85 percent increase on the upper campus. It also wants to raise summer fees to be the same as spring and fall.

Lower campus permits per semester will be $5 cheaper in the fall and spring because of the increase in summer rates. But through the next five years, rates would rise from $134 in the fall and spring semesters and $68 for the summer to $191 per semester.

“;I don't agree with it,”; said Debra Gono, a janitor at UH-Manoa for 14 years who said she feels for the students. Parking fees are already too expensive for her. Gono said she carpools or, if she has to drive, leaves home at 3:45 a.m. to find street parking.

“;It will make people think twice about driving,”; said Matt Ogoshi, a senior graduating next year. But Ogoshi said he will pay the higher fees because he has a job after classes and has to drive.

Kathy Cutshaw, UH-Manoa vice chancellor for administration, said the increase is necessary to make parking self-sufficient. “;This (the increase) causes us to break even,”; Cutshaw said.

Revenues are expected to rise from $4.8 million this year to $6.5 million next year and $6.8 million in 2011.

Cutshaw explained that part of the increase is because the parking lots are on ceded lands and 20 percent of the revenue goes to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The university had been paying the 20 percent from other funds, but the money will now come directly from parking fees.

UH-Manoa also needs to spend about $6 million to repair and maintain the parking structures and is still paying off construction bonds for building the structures. Other costs, including those for special-duty police officers for traffic control, have increased, Cutshaw said.

Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw has the authority to raise parking fees up to $16 a day under current administrative rules, Cutshaw said.

This spring, the university put in metered parking in some lots and began charging $4 an hour, to a maximum of $16 a day, for parking on the upper campus before 4 p.m.

UH-Manoa Athletic Director Jim Donovan said a $5 fee is about the same as event parking at the Blaisdell Center. “;I would say that $3 for general parking is probably low, but at the same time we'd like to keep any increase as nominal as possible,”; he said.

Volleyball fan Edsel Yamada said the increase might mean more competition for parking off campus before games.

“;I don't know if it's the right time with the economy (to raise rates),”; Yamada said, “;but I guess they have to raise revenue.”;




UH-Manoa parking fee proposals

        Lower Campus flat rate

Current: $3


July 1: $5


Next year: $6


Upper Campus per semester


Current: $168


July 1: $175


2014: $259


Lower Campus per semester


Current: $134


July 1: $129 *


2014: $191


* Annual permits go from $336 to $387 on July 1. But because summer semester fees will now be the same as spring and fall, the average cost per semester will initially drop this year but rise next year.