UMass to hike parking fees to help pay for new garage

UMass Boston will hike up parking fees on its campus for the first time in 15 years, according to a statement issued last week. The increase will take effect this summer alongside the opening of a newly-built parking deck that is expected to open this summer.

The price hike is needed to help pay for the construction and operation of the new $69.75 million on-campus parking garage. The development will see daily rates for the university’s Bayside lot increase to $9, while rates at the parking garage and elsewhere on campus will rise to $15.

Prepaid monthly and semester rates will also be available at a discount. The current parking rate at the school is $6.

“We believe that this structure provides students, faculty, and staff with a lower-cost option at Bayside and offers convenient, on-campus parking at rates comparable to or lower than those found at many colleges and universities in the area,” said Kathleen Kirleis, vice chancellor for administration and finance at UMass Boston.

The new garage will fill a need for on-campus parking space that has existed since the university was forced to close its aging garages in 2006. About 60 percent of the university’s students and faculty take public transit to and from campus, while roughly a third drive.

UMass offers a free shuttle service between the T stop, the bayside lot, and the campus center.

School officials opted against funding the garage through a tuition increase, a measure that they said would unfairly charge students who walk or use mass transit and therefore would not be using the parking facility.