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Parking lots, SafeRide to be operated by outside company

MIT has announced plans to retain a firm with demonstrated expertise in providing parking and transportation services to operate the Institute parking lots and the SafeRide service.

Senior Vice President William R. Dickson said that contract negotiations will begin soon with Standard Parking Inc., a company with parking operations in Boston, Chicago and Kansas City.

"We expect to have these discussions completed in time for Standard to take over operational responsibilities by the end of November," Mr. Dickson said.

The nine parking lot attendants, 14 SafeRide drivers and two parking clerks were told of the decision last week by Campus Police Chief Anne P. Glavin. Parking and transportation services are administered through the Campus Police, which reports to Mr. Dickson.

The drivers are part-time employees. The parking attendants work a 7am-3pm shift. The support staff are full time. An additional position, that of parking supervisor, is about to be vacated. Chief Glavin was informed several weeks ago that the holder of the post was leaving to open a business on Cape Cod.

Chief Glavin informed the parking staff that, once the contract is signed, they would no longer be MIT employees, but would be eligible to be hired by Standard Parking. "The company has indicated that it is willing to hire the existing people, if they meet company standards," the chief said. She said a prime objective in interviewing companies was to secure as strong a commitment as possible that anybody who wanted to continue in a parking or transportation job would have a high expectation of being able to do so. "We will work hard with Standard Parking to make this transition as easy as possible," the chief said.

The decision to charge a $300 annual fee for parking (announced last May to take effect in January) meant that an expensive computer system would have to be built and additional staff hired, Mr. Dickson said. A committee of Chief Glavin, Stephen D. Immerman, director of special services in Mr. Dickson's office, and Lydia S. Snover, senior planning officer, studied the matter and recommended an outside firm as the solution that would be cost-effective and would ensure the delivery of a high-level of professional service to the community in the areas of parking of transportation.

Campus Police will continue to be responsible for security in parking areas and on SafeRide. The van service is currently being managed by the Campus Police night commander who schedules the runs and coordinates the drivers' schedules. The shift to a professional parking and transportation services company will allow the night commander to devote more time to other police business, Chief Glavin said.

Mr. Dickson informed the Academic Council of the decision last week.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 1995.

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