Duke parking permit renewal begins June 17

June 07, 2010 By Bryan RothAfter a car accident this year, Lisa Varani decided to temporarily ride a bus to work at Duke South. Her short-term answer became a long-term solution. She still rides a Triangle Transit bus from Cary at least twice a week.

“I did the math and figured it would take riding the bus about once a week for a month for my bus pass to pay for itself,” said Varani, associate dean for resource planning in the School of Medicine. She only drives to work when she needs her car. “Environmentally, it’s good, and I enjoy the ride because I can bring my knitting, talk with people or read a book.”

Duke officials are encouraging faculty and staff to follow Varani’s lead as the University strives by 2012 to reduce by 6 percent the number of single occupancy vehicles that park at Duke as part of its Climate Action Plan.

While parking permit rates will not increase in 2010-11 for a second consecutive year, costs for building and maintaining lots and garages and providing transit continue to rise.  “Due to the current economic situation, we have absorbed the increasing cost for parking the last two years and postponed some capital improvements to the system,” said Tallman Trask III, executive vice president. “We are simply delaying needed changes and cost increases that will have to be made in the coming years.”

For 2010-11, permit registration and renewal begins on June 17 with some Law School students, June 18 for employees and June 23 for undergraduate students. For the full Duke community online permit schedule and detailed renewal instructions, please see the registration calendar.

Sam Veraldi, acting director of Parking and Transportation, said Duke will be developing transit strategies and examining Duke’s permit rates and permit structures in the coming year to ensure they are equitable and address increasing transit costs. For example, one of the cheapest campus parking permits costs customers $6.80 per month but costs Duke nearly an additional $50 per space each month to lease. In addition to leasing costs, Duke provides campus transit service, including rides to and from remote parking lots.

Among the ways to manage costs is through alternative transit options such as carpooling and riding a bus. Varani, the associate dean, buys a $25 discount bus pass through Duke, joining about 550 others from Duke who use a discount bus pass.

“We want to encourage faculty and staff to explore alternative forms of transportation because it will obviously help us achieve our sustainability goals of 2012 and beyond,” Veraldi said. “It’s important for all of us to consider our carbon footprint since driving to work is such a major contributor to that.”

Promoting alternative transit will be part of Duke’s strategy to reduce the number of single occupancy cars on campus by 6 percent. That reduction amounts to removing about 1,400 permits from distribution to the Duke community.

“Of the roughly 23,000 permits Parking & Transportation sold last year, about 99 percent were for single occupancy vehicles,” said Tavey M. Capps, director of Sustainable Duke. “As a community, we each should consider options to help reduce the number of cars coming to campus.”