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UNR To Continue Boosting Parking Fees (Subscriber Content)

By John Seelmeyer
Published: Last Updated on
Brian Whalen Parking Garage. Image: UNR.

Parking fees are headed up at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the most expensive permit to park on campus will cost $700 next year. The higher fees — every permit will cost 3 percent more — come as the university prepares to pay for construction of a big new parking garage at the south edge of campus.

With the increase, the yellow permits commonly used by students in residence halls will cost $566 a year.  Permits for other reserved spaces — including those reserved for contractors doing business at UNR — will rise to $700.

In a letter explaining the increases, UNR President Marc Johnson noted that fees went up last year for the first time since 2011. Most users last year saw fees go up by 17 percent, although some increases were as high as 43 percent. Now Johnson wants increases to come more often, in smaller amounts, rather than occasional big hits.

The biggest reason for this year’s increase, Johnson said, is the need to begin saving money to finance the south-campus parking facility.

The university has launched planning for a parking garage in the Gateway area, the neighborhood near Center Street and Interstate 80 that’s targeted for campus expansion. With a capacity of 700 to 1,000 cars, the garage probably will be available by the summer of 2021.

The cost of the new garage hasn’t been nailed down, but parking fees will pay for it. Parking services at UNR are entirely self-supporting, and no public money pays for parking at the university.

At least theoretically, about 870 parking spaces currently are available on campus even at the busiest times of the busiest days, parking studies have found. But parking officials acknowledge many of those spaces are in lots on the north end of campus, far from most classrooms, offices and dorms.

In second move to balance the parking budget, UNR officials will cut back the operating hours of the on-campus shuttle service next year.

The shuttle will operate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., its schedule in past years, after an expanded schedule that included evening operations on Monday through Thursday during the current academic year.

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