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Changes in MIT parking fees announced

Executive Vice President John R. Curry has announced several parking changes for fiscal year 2000. Effective September 1, 1999, the commuter and residential parking fees will increase to $360 per year and the student commuter fee (remote lot) will increase to $180 per year.

Also on September 1, MIT employees (excluding registered MIT students) will be able to pay for MIT commuter parking and MBTA commuter passes on a pre-tax, salary reduction basis.

Due to a recent change in federal tax law, MIT, like many other employers, will sponsor a program under which MIT-paid employees can pay on a pre-tax, salary reduction basis for qualified commuter parking and MBTA passes, up to certain monthly limits. Paying in this way will result in tax savings for employees. (The exact amount saved will vary according to each individual's tax status.) Details of this plan will be included with applications for parking permits and T passes.

The Committee for Transportation and Parking, chaired by Professor Alexander M. Klibanov, recommended the parking fee changes, which also were reviewed by the Academic Council. The committee is appointed by the president, and its primary charge is to review and advise on policy governing the operation of the transportation and parking system at MIT.

Committee members include representatives from Campus Police, the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education, Personnel, the Planning Office, the Executive Vice President's Office, and the Parking and Transportation Office. In addition to the chair, five other faculty members and one graduate student also serve on the committee.

The current parking rate of $300 per year was established in 1996 when MIT moved from an administrative fee to a parking fee. Although the rate has not been raised since then, the costs of parking have continued to increase. This year's fee increases are in response to increased costs for renovations, repairs and maintenance of MIT's parking facilities; fees to Cambridge; campus security; and administration for fiscal year 2000.

Other changes to MIT's parking fee schedule include the reduction of the annual permit fee for off-hours parking from $105 to $25. The fee for replacing stickers during the year will be reduced to $10 if the sticker is returned, but will remain at $25 if it is not.

Commuter parking fees for non-employee parkers will be increased to $450 per year as of September 1. This category applies to people who work at MIT but are not paid directly by the Institute or do not hold regular appointments through the Personnel Office. Those affected by this policy include consultants, contractors, employees of temporary agencies, and individuals paid through the voucher payroll or with an MIT purchase order.

Mr. Curry also announced that the Parking and Transportation Office will now report directly to Stephen D. Immerman, director of project development in the executive vice president's area. "There is constant and increasing pressure to reduce the amount of parking in and around Cambridge. This, combined with restrictions already in place from the federal Clean Air Act, means that we need to continue to explore transportation alternatives for the MIT community," Mr. Immerman said.

The annual parking and T pass application process will begin in August and detailed fee schedules will be available then from department parking coordinators, the Parking and Transportation Office and through the MIT web site.

A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 44, Number 1).

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