Most employees who receive free parking don't think of it as a perk. The challenge with this option is to alter employee thinking so that parking is viewed as a benefit, not a guarantee. Parking Management encourages employees to use shared commute methods by making single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) travel less convenient and/or more expensive. Most effectively employed in the suburbs, where parking is viewed as plentiful and inexpensive, this approach treats parking as a privilege.
Proven methods of parking management include:
- Charging a fee for parking if it is currently free
- Establishing a "cash out" program whereby all employees are given a transportation subsidy. Those employees who choose to drive must pay a fee for parking equal to that of the subsidy; those who use transit, vanpools or carpools can keep the subsidy or receive TransitCheks to help pay those costs. (Tax laws should be reviewed before instituting any subsidies.)
- Offering prime, preferential spaces to those who carpool and vanpool regularly (see "Employee Incentives")
- Renting spaces for use by other businesses, or for park-and-ride
These programs can also be beneficial to employers by eliminating the need for additional lot construction and reducing insurance and maintenance costs. With a cash-out system, employees who currently drive do not suffer detrimental consequences, and those who don't drive now receive a subsidy for their efforts. Consultation on designing preferred parking accommodations and procedures or establishing a cash-out program may be arranged through your MAP contact.