The following information is provided in an effort to address parking-related issues identified in the above-referenced auditor’s report.  Topics of most relevance to our campus include: 

Alternate Transportation Committee 
Since the University’s inception, alternate transportation issues on campus have been addressed through the University’s Physical Master Planning Committee. Additionally, based on the recommendations of a Parking & Transportation Demand Management Study(PDF, 5.5MB) requested by the University, the campus established in 2017 an Alternate Transportation Subcommittee (ATS) as part of the University’s Physical Master Planning Committee. The ATS, which meets biannually, includes a staff representative from each division, a tenure-track faculty member, a faculty lecturer, a commuter student, a residential student, and a representative from the Ventura County Transportation Committee (VCTC).  

The Parking & Transportation Demand Management Study highlighted various recommendations that the campus used to develop a five-year strategic plan to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips to the campus. This strategic plan was presented to the ATS in April of 2019 and implementation of that plan is now underway.

Parking Fees
Parking fees are evaluated annually for this self-support program. This evaluation includes the planning and review of anticipated revenue and expenses for parking-related operations and debt based on the campus’ projected growth. As noted in the auditor’s report, the rates faculty and represented staff pay for their parking permits is based on their system-wide collective bargaining agreements. Students and administrators/confidential employees pay the same annual amount for parking permits.

Parking Debt
New planned parking is brought on-line in accordance with the campus master plan and based on enrollment growth.  In order to pay for new parking lots or structures, campuses typically finance the project using CSU System long-term debt issuance.  As the audit noted, CSUCI’s annual payments toward parking debt increased from $68,000 to $178,000 over a 10-year period.  This increase was a direct result of the addition of the A-3 parking lot located on University Drive. CSUCI’s current parking fees were raised over that same period of time in order to pay for the parking lot. During this same 10-year time period, student enrollment at CSUCI went from 3,783 in fall 2008 to 7,053 in fall 2017.

Parking fees are used to cover ongoing parking-related expenses and maintenance, including payment of long-term debt incurred from parking construction. This long-term parking debt can be likened to purchasing a home and paying the loan through mortgage payments over the life of the home mortgage.

Asphalt surface parking lots are far less expensive to build than are multi-level parking structures. Construction of a surface lot costs approximately $10,000 per parking stall compared to a parking structure, which can cost up to $100,000 per parking stall. 

Parking Capacity Ratio
As the CSU’s newest and fastest growing campus, our focus has been on serving our students, which includes providing campus parking and alternate transportation programs for those students that commute to campus. Since 2002, CSUCI has grown from a small campus of 629 transfer students to a campus of over 7,000 students and growing.  As the only four-year public institution in Ventura County, CSUCI plays a critical role in meeting the needs for an educated workforce in the region.

While we have added parking capacity on campus over the last 10 years, the growth of student enrollment has been greater and so the parking capacity ratio (or the number of student parking spaces per 10 students) has decreased.  In the planning for new parking space, the program must be careful not to over-build, yet strive to maintain the appropriate balance of spaces to permit sales.

The demand for parking and alternative transportation at CSUCI is made greater by some of the unique characteristics of our campus. CSUCI is situated in a rural area surrounded by agricultural fields and the nearest populated area is approximately five miles from the campus, making alternatives such as walking or bicycling to campus unlikely for most people. As noted in the auditor’s report, many of our students drive to campus because of job or family commitments and they need that flexibility that alternative transportation cannot provide.

The Parking & Transportation Demand Management Study(PDF, 5.5MB)recommended other ideas such as the establishment of tiered parking and real-time parking information. Transportation & Parking Services decided not to adopt these recommendations because they would not improve the campus’ parking capacity ratio and because of the potential negative impact on students with the greatest financial needs.

CSUCI values the need for a robust Alternative Transportation program. The campus has successfully implemented ongoing or new programs including carpool incentives, a free ZipCar membership for residential students, expanded and free intercity bus transportation for all CSUCI students and employees including dedicated bus lines from Camarillo and Oxnard locations that provide free parking, as well as RideShare options to help alleviate the parking capacity ratio on campus.

The launch of our new carpool parking permits this past academic year exceeded our expectations and we will continue to explore new solutions that make sense for our campus. In 2018-2019, CSUCI added 65 carpool spaces, resulting in a 142% increase of registered carpool groups and 290 fewer vehicles being driven to and from campus.

Additionally, CSUCI’s bus ridership is the highest among all local community colleges and other universities within our region.  In 2018-2019, the number of CSUCI students with an Intercity Bus pass increased to 945, over 15% of the campus’ full-time student population.

According to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, CSUCI’s Average Vehicle Ridership (AVR) from 2001 to 2017 shows remarkable improvement including maintaining above average annual AVR performance, especially compared to baseline and annual countywide averages.

Future Parking Plans 
CSUCI’s Alternate Transportation Committee will continue its work to review and advise the campus on issues related to parking and transportation, as well as provide solutions to include:

  1. Establishment of a Bike Share program;
  2. Additional EV Charging stations;
  3. Expanding the Carpool program;
  4. Continuing to collaborate with the City of Camarillo’s Trolley and with VCTC for continued bus service; and the
  5. Ongoing implementation of our parking strategic plan intended to reduce the number of single occupancy trips to the campus.

We also welcome members of the campus community to submit other innovative ideas for how CSUCI can help address the parking and transportation needs of the University. You may send your ideas to parking@csuci.edu

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