Parking & Transportation Services
Parking and Transportation Services’ role and responsibilities at our University are often misunderstood.
Headed by the Director of Parking and Transportation Bob Browand, PTS is a subsidiary of the Auxiliary Services. They are funded solely by the sales of parking permits and by the revenue from parking citations. They maintain and operate all of the University of Houston’s parking lots and garages, and place the traffic signage on University roadways. PTS enforces the University’s parking rules and regulations by issuing citations and towing vehicles.
Parking permits are oversold for all of the University’s parking facilities. Overselling (issuing more permits than there are spaces) is a common practice when managing parking facilities to account for individuals using spaces for only portions of the day. The practice allows for the University to utilize their parking facilities at capacity, providing parking to the greatest number of students at the least cost per student (or at least that’s the goal.)
Parking facilities with more spaces or higher turnover are oversold at a higher rate; while facilities that are assigned lower oversell rates typically have fewer spots or are for individuals who are less likely to leave the University throughout the day, such as faculty and staff, or who are likely to store their vehicles overnight such, as in the Calhoun Lofts residential lot.
PTS restructured the costs of permits and citations this year. Price increases were applied to permits and citations were consolidated into four groups costing $30, $60, $100, and $250. The University is continuing the prior policy allowing for a 50% reduction in the cost of select citations if paid within 72 hours.
The PTS budget for the fiscal year 2016 is $13.6 million. Included in that budget are the following:
Salaries and Benefits: $1.71 million (12.6%)
Parking Enforcement Operations: $200 thousand (1.4%)
Parking Operations: $3.99 million (29.3%)
Garage Operations: $1.26 million (9.2%)
Garage Debt Service: $6.48 million, (47.5%)
(Note: the percentages provided above are calculated directly from the University’s FY16 budget. They vary from the statistics provided by PTS in their “Word On the Street” blog post from 2/23/2016, in which PTS stated their Debt Services takes up 54% ($7.37 million) of their budget. The variance for Debt Services is near $0.9 million over budget, compared to the University’s FY16 budget.)
PTS is not responsible for the traffic signals, METRO rail stations and crossings, crosswalk signals, street markings, or the Holman street parking meters. Those are all managed by TXDoT, the City of Houston, and/or METRO. Lastly, they don’t manage nor are they affiliated with towing companies that remove vehicles from non-university property such as the Café 101/Nook parking lots or the Pizza Hut/Textbook Brokers parking lots.
Editor’s note: Andrew Bahlmann was appointed this past Wednesday to the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee (TPAC), the advisory and oversight committee for PTS, by the Student Government Association.
TPAC will be having their first meeting of the school year today, Friday Sep. 16, at 1:30 p.m. at the PTS offices in the Stadium Parking Garage. The meeting is open to students, faculty and staff to observe and give input.