A look into the price of parking at UMass

By Anthony Rentsch


A proposal to implement nighttime and weekend parking fee at the University of Massachusetts was put on hold earlier this year, but some students remain unhappy with how much it costs to park on campus.

A recent column in the Daily Collegian bemoaned the price of student parking permits and the rates for metered or pay-station parking lots.

In relation to comparable schools in the region, parking at UMass is slightly more expensive. However, in comparison to the other UMass campuses, the Amherst campus’ prices are closer to the middle.

Currently, undergraduate and graduate students with cars are allowed to park on the edges of campus in green, yellow and purple lots, as well as in the upper garage. The cost of an annual permit for one of these lots varies; it’s $248 for the yellow lots, $305 for the purple lots, $340 for the green lots and $671 for the upper garage. Jonathan King, director of parking services, said the majority of students park in yellow and purple lots.

These rates have gone up slightly from last year, when students had to pay $240 for a spot in a yellow lot, $290 for a spot in the purple lots, $330 for a spot in the green lots and $631 for one in the upper garage.

UMass also offers outdoor or garage metered and pay-station parking lots. The rate for these lots is $1.50 per hour.

The rate is $1.75 between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. and $1 between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the garage. The maximum overnight fee that can be charged is $4 and the maximum fee that can be charged on any given day is $20.

In comparison to the options at the other flagship state universities in New England, UMass parking is slightly more expensive, although UMass’ garage does provide a far more expensive option than any other similar New England school.

Prices of parking permits for residential students at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Vermont and the University of Rhode Island range between $125 and $330 per year, depending on the type of lot. For on-campus students at the University of Maine, a parking permit for the academic year costs $50.

The University of Connecticut has the most similarly priced options to UMass. Prices of permits for UConn students range from roughly $175 for a spot on the edge of campus to roughly $510 for a spot in the garage.

Additionally, metered spots at the flagship campuses of New England states are generally less expensive than or on par with UMass. Parking meters at Maine cost $0.25 per half hour and $0.50 per hour, while those at UVM are $1 per hour. UNH provides metered and pay-station spots at a rate of $1.25 to $1.50 per hour. URI does not have metered parking spots.

As was the case with permits, UConn’s metered parking prices rivaled those of UMass. Parking in either of UConn’s two garages costs students $2 for the first two hours and $1 for each subsequent hour up to nine hours. The overnight rate is $1 per hour.

Some of the large universities in neighboring states also had academic standing requirements to obtain a permit.

In order to receive a parking permit at UConn, students must also have completed at least 54 credits. At UNH and UVM, freshmen are not allowed to obtain a permit. Websites for the other schools did not indicate whether there were credit requirements to obtain a parking permit. UMass does not have any parking restrictions based on academic standing.

Compared with the price of permits on other UMass campuses, the Amherst campus is right in the middle of the pack. Full-year permits cost $195 at Dartmouth, $450 at Lowell and roughly $650 at Boston. UMass Medical School in Worcester offers garage parking at a rate of $8 per week, for a minimum of four weeks.

Where the money goes


According to King, there are currently 5,858 student parking permits registered at UMass, including 4,245 for undergraduates.

He said that total revenue for the department was $4.37 million, with $2.6 million of that coming from parking permits. The other portion comes from temporary permits ($198,000), charges to departments ($404,000), meter and pay-station revenue ($441,000) and garage revenue ($735,000).

In terms of expenses, King said that $1.6 million of the $3.8 million of total expenses is spent on payroll. The other $1.9 million goes to snow removal, the campus shuttle, as well as meter, pay-station and garage costs, among others.

King also noted that the department faces roughly $10.5 million in deferred lot maintenance, as well as roughly $4.5 million to repair the nearly 50-year-old garage.

Money collected from parking citations, he said, is deposited with the Financial Aid office.

Anthony Rentsch can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Anthony_Rentsch.