Monday, January 24, 2022
Update: The Board of Regents approved the rates on March 10. The Feb. 22 public hearing is available to view on Zoom (UW NetID sign-in required.) The introductory presentation shown is also available as a pdf.

Transportation Services is seeking feedback from the Seattle campus community on a proposal to update the department’s funding model to support its future financial sustainability. A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 22. The main recommendations of this proposal include:

  • Increase parking fees by 4% in FY23, FY24, FY25 and FY26
  • Provide fully subsidized U-PASS to Faculty and Professional staff
  • Reduce U-PASS and shuttle funding’s dependence on parking revenue
  • Increase deferred maintenance and strategic initiative spending 

Please see the following rate tables for the effect of the 4% increase in parking fees. 

Parking rates are not final until they are approved by the UW Board of Regents. Universal Student U-PASS rates are set by the Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board and approved by ASUW and GPSS. 

Feedback opportunities

Public hearing on TS funding model changes

Tuesday, February 22, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.  

Send feedback via email

Transportation Services also welcomes your feedback about the proposed funding model and parking rates via email to tsfeedback@uw.edu. Please submit feedback no later than Tuesday, February 22.  

About the proposed funding model

Transportation Services is a self-sustaining unit, with no direct funding from the state. The UW has traditionally relied on parking revenue to support the U-PASS and shuttle programs, as well to fund repairs and maintenance to the 3.4 million square feet of parking lots and garages on the Seattle campus. With rising transit costs, a backlog of deferred maintenance and the requirement from the 2019 Campus Master Plan to drastically reduce parking inventory by 2028, that model is no longer sustainable. 

The core elements of the new model are:

  • Increase parking fees by 4% in FY23, FY24, FY25 and FY26 
    To avoid large increases all at once, an annual parking rate increase of 4% would be set for the next four years. This is intended to keep up with increases in the U.S. Consumer Price Index and fund additional deferred maintenance.

  • Provide fully subsidized U-PASS to Faculty and Professional staff
    This would be paid for using the benefit load, which is how the current fully subsidized U-PASS for classified staff is paid for. This change would impact all UW campuses and replace the current system in which each UW campus manage its own employee U-PASS program.

  • Reduce U-PASS and shuttle funding’s dependence on parking revenue
    Under the current model, 55% of gross parking revenue on the Seattle campus is allocated to support the U-PASS program and the shuttle services. This kind of funding is called Transportation Demand Management (TDM). Under the new model, the TDM funding for these programs would be reduced, and more funding would come from the sponsors and users of these programs. Specifically, TDM funding for the student U-PASS would be capped at $2 million/year and removed entirely for the faculty and staff U-PASS (see item above). TDM funding for the student U-PASS is currently below $2 million/year. The ~$290,000/year currently provided by TDM to the Health Sciences Express and South Lake Union shuttles would also end.

  • Increase deferred maintenance and strategic initiative spending by $2-3M per year
    Operational revenue currently pays for $1 million a year in minimal deferred maintenance for parking lots and garages. This includes safety measures, concrete, painting, wayfinding, etc., but is not sufficient to tackle the estimated $23 million plus backlog of deferred maintenance projects. The increased funding would go to priority projects such as repairs and upgrades to the Padelford and UW Tower Garages, fire system upgrades for Stevens Court and Portage Bay, and strategic initiatives such as improved lighting and additional bike parking.

Approval process 

Parking rates for faculty and staff on the Seattle campus are reviewed by the University Transportation Committee (UTC). Parking rates are not final until they are approved by the UW Board of Regents. Student U-PASS rates are set by the Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board and approved by ASUW and GPSS. Decisions about the faculty and staff U-PASS program are made by University leadership.

The new funding proposal was first presented to University leadership in November 2021, with separate presentations to the UTC, several faculty and student groups, and partners such as UW Medicine and Intercollegiate Athletics. The UTC approved the proposal at its meeting on January 24, 2022.

Key dates:

  • A public hearing on the proposed funding model and rate changes will be held on Tuesday, February 22, from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. via Zoom.   
  • The Board of Regents is currently set to discuss the proposed funding model at their meeting on March 10.