Next Phase of Campus Parking Plan Set to Go
By Stephen Gawlik
Boston College will implement the second phase of a parking improvement plan next month that will require visitors to pay to leave their vehicles in campus garages.
In addition, some University employees will see increases in parking fees for the 2006-7 fiscal year, which begins June 1.
"In an effort to reduce the University's dependence on tuition dollars to finance operations we need to ask people who visit and use our parking spaces to help defray the cost of maintaining parking facilities," said Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Patricia Bando.
The first stage of the multi-phase plan begins June 5 when gates installed in the Beacon Street garage will be activated. Visitors who come to campus will be directed to this garage, where they will receive access tickets and be required to make cash or credit card payments at pay stations located in the facility. The Commonwealth Avenue garage gates will come into use this September.
The first two hours of every visit will be free of charge. Each additional hour will cost $2, with a maximum possible daily charge of $10. Weekend parking in the garages will be free from 5 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Monday.
Policies for vendors, contractors and visitors to Admission or other offices on campus have also been developed.
"The employee parking rates were reviewed in association to the demand for permit types and the revenue needed to offset on campus parking maintenance. Based upon this information it was decided to increase the permit rates for the faculty/staff restricted parking areas," said Bando.
One key innovation to the parking plan will be the distribution of removable transponders to those employees with parking permits A, R, M, G, S-GS, J, SC and ES. The transponder will be mounted on the windshield and uses an electronic signal to open the gate as the vehicle approaches nine to 12 feet from the gate reader.
The transponder must be used in conjunction with the specific parking permit with which it is registered; both may be moved to any of the maximum three vehicles registered per permit.
"Some have raised questions about compatibility with the transponder system used by commuters on the Massachusetts Turnpike," said Transportation and Parking Manager Paul Cappadona. "The BC transponder is not interchangeable with the Mass Pike Fast Lane or EZ Pass and they will not interfere with each other."
The permitting process began May 8, via the Agora Web site, http://agora.bc.edu/login/menu, which contains the details for application.
Bando said similar gate systems are successfully in use at the University of Virginia and Rice University.
"Police and staff from the Transportation and Parking Office will be on hand to assist employees and visitors with the mechanics of operating the system," said Cappadona. "It's simple to use, but we want to be sure there's assistance available for people who might need it."
For more information see the Transportation and Parking Services Web page at www.bc.edu/offices/transportation/.