Granular Choice, Reduced Parking Demand, and Delighted Customers

By Chris Lechner, CAPP

UCLA has long been a leader in reducing drive-alone rates. Historically, attention has been focused on subsidizing alternative transportation products, but parking policy plays a key role. Though often overlooked, daily discounted parking is crucial support strategy to meeting transportation demand management goals.

UCLA has been able to expand the use of alternatives, lower the drive-alone rate, and maximize the utility of a limited and shrinking parking inventory by selling parking by the day to faculty and staff at a discount from the public daily rate. This flexibility enables customers to drive when they need to, and do something else when they can. Daily discounts remove the incentives of all-you-can-park permits, incentivizing customers to “Drive Less and Save More.”

Recently, UCLA has been able to maximize this transportation demand management strategy by utilizing virtual permits. This has removed sign-up requirements and enabled pre-tax payroll deduction as a payment method. Additionally, the operational flexibility provided by this approach has provided frameworks and flexibility to respond to the impacts of Covid-19.

In an IPMI webinar later today, I’ll lay out the landscape at UCLA, review the history of our daily discounted parking program, highlight some of the operational flexibility afforded to us via this program, and finally review how this has allowed us to respond to the pandemic. I hope you’ll join us.

Chris Lechner, CAPP, is parking data analytics and strategic projects manager at UCLA.