UCD have received €413,795.60 net revenue from the sale of parking permits from August 2015 to September 2016. This does not include the €125,057.73 revenue from parking meters from September 2015 to August 2016.
The permits were introduced last year to “to ensure that car parking is only used by members of the University community and as a means of controlling demand” according to UCD commuting services.
Profits from the permits are expected to go towards implementation of UCD’s Travel Plan 2016-2021-2026. The announcement comes as student services have seen a number of cuts in the previous years. This includes cuts to funding of the Library, scholarships and increased pressure on counselling services.
The amount is a substantial increase over the amount made in the previous three years, which increased from €94,959.31 earned in 2014-2015. This amount was reduced from €97,279.09 in 2013-2014 and €113,218.99 in 2012-2013. Before the introduction of permits, all profit made from parking came from parking meters.
The UCD Guide to Parking also notes that the cost is part of an initiative to encourage a shift towards using public transport. The majority of UCD commuters already use various forms of public transport.
Holding of a parking permit does not guarantee a parking space, something that has drawn some criticism. Vetinary student, Shauna Gavin, who drives to campus notes: “getting spaces really depends on the time of the day. Almost impossible after 9am…I won’t drive if I’ve to be in for 9/10/11 [am] because I just won’t get parking.”
The cost of an individual permit is €50 per academic year or €25 per semester, which is also something that has caused some controversy, given that spaces are not guaranteed.
Gavin explains, “I don’t think it’s justified. If you’re going to pay for parking you should at least be able to park at all times during the day, but at certain times it’s impossible to find parking in UCD. It’s not really fair to ask people to pay for parking if you can’t really guarantee they’ll actually be able to park.”
Permits are only effective during peak times, such as during the week between 8am and 5pm and during term time. This semester, permits are only needed between September 12th and December 2nd.
The cost of hourly paid parking is €1 per hour and is capped at €3 per day. The charges also apply only at peak times. Outside of these times use of most car parks is free, with the exception of premium car parks and the UCD Sports and Fitness area.
Despite the introduction of permits, the amount earned from car parks still increases at busy periods during the academic year. In March and April the net revenue from hourly car parks was €24,598.50 and €19,023.78, respectively. In contrast, the amount dropped to €1,508.40 in June.
According to the October 2015 UCD communting survey, 24% of people arrive to campus by car, with UCD being one of the largest journey generators in South Dublin.