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Study: Cost Of Operating Parking Structures On The Rise

CHICAGO -- Walker Parking Consultants today released the results of its quinquennial national survey measuring and evaluating the cost of operating a parking structure. The study, which measures the median operating cost on a per space basis, found that the overall average annual median cost has risen to $720 per space, from approximately $600 per space in 2006. The study also found that median costs vary widely, based on the type and size of operation, with larger facilities with more than 1,000 spaces coming in at $602 a space and above-grade facilities with no valet coming in at $666 a space.
“This is a more comprehensive look at parking operation costs,” said Jon Martens, AICP, CPP, of Walker Parking Consultants. “It provides important information about how much owners and operators are spending to run their facilities, and where they are spending their operation dollars.”
In addition to providing a general overview of parking costs, the survey also identified the most costly expenses. While expenses varied from facility to facility, the survey found that the most significant cost drivers were payroll and benefits, utilities, and security. Other key expenses included management fees and maintenance.
“This study provides invaluable data to cities and towns, healthcare facilities, universities, airports, and other organizations that own or operate parking facilities,” continued Martens. “By understanding the factors that impact operation costs, parking owners can make educated decisions about how to reduce their costs.”
As the following charts show, operation costs vary widely among different types of structures:
“Of course, each parking facility has its own unique expenses,” said Martens. “However, the survey provides the first step toward better managing costs. For instance, structures with high personnel costs may be able to reduce expenses by installing pay-on-foot and other automated revenue control equipment. Similarly, high utility costs can be cut by switching to energy efficient high output LED, induction lighting, or florescent lighting systems to illuminate parking areas. Ultimately, the key to cutting costs is recognizing where cuts need to be made.”
About Walker Parking
Walker Parking Consultants is the world’s leading parking consulting firm. Based in Elgin, Illinois, Walker Parking Consultants has thirteen offices throughout the United States. The firm can be found online at www.walkerparking.com.

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 1/26/2012

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