Due to the opening of a four-story parking garage on the east side of Main Campus, administrators have lowered semester-long parking rates in an effort to keep students from parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Parking rates were reduced at the start of the semester for commuter students from $360 per semester to $240 a semester.
The decrease was a result of an effort to both reduce costs for students and keep students from parking in the surrounding community blocks, Rich Rumer, associate vice president for business services, said.
“We realize that by the time you pay for tuition, you pay for books, you have a lot of cost to go to school,” Rumer said. “We wanted to do what we could to reduce that and at the same time be good neighbors.”
Along with the reduction in parking rates per semester, the university also introduced its part-time parking program – altered from the former debit card parking program – which allows students to park in the Montgomery or Liacouras garages for $7 per day. It was raised from the $5.40 daily parking fee in the debit card parking program, but the university eliminated the $70 fee for a car hangtag that was required for the debit card parking.
For those not in the part-time parking program, a $3 hourly rate is in place for students needing to come to campus for short periods of time.
The university has been marketing the “convenience and affordability” of parking in secure locations on Main Campus since the semester started.
Because of the opening of the Montgomery Garage at 11th Street and Montgomery Avenue, which will add more than 1,100 parking spaces, the university closed three parking lots on Main Campus. Rumer said those lots may be used for development through the Visualize Temple master plan.
“With the opening of a brand new garage, giving us more parking spaces than we had before, we weren’t utilizing all of our surface lots, so we wanted to consolidate,” Rumer said. “Those primary surface lots will probably end up being used by the Visualize Temple project.”
The garage was under construction for 15 months and opened for commencement in May. The project cost $22.5 million, according to the Facilities Management website, and took the place of previously unregulated parking.
Before the land where the garage sits was acquired by Temple in _____, the land was a dirt lot infamous for its free, but unregulated access to parking.
University Architect Margaret Carney said before construction started that the garage would hold more vehicles than the dirt lot.
“The same square footage of the site is going to be able to accommodate three times as many cars as could park on that lot before,” Carney said in an interview with The Temple News in September 2011.
Though the parking garage is open, the university is working to fill two retail spaces at the northeast corner of the garage near Berks and Warnock streets, which Rumer said Temple hopes to fill by the spring.
Since the semester started, the garage has generally been more than 50 percent filled, according to Karen Sherlock, director of parking services.
Sean Carlin can be reached at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.