On Sept. 2, SUNY Upstate Medical University officially opened its newest parking garage—Garage West.
The opening of the 1,500-space garage, which comes two months ahead of schedule, enables us to offer employees and students who currently park at Alliance Bank Stadium and the Syracuse Housing Authority with new parking options on and near campus. Additionally, the elevated walkway connecting Garage West and Garage East is expected to be completed by the end of October and will enable parkers in Garage West to walk to the second floor hospital lobby without going outdoors.
We want to thank all employees and students, especially those whose parking assignments were changed for the garage construction, for your patience and understanding during this time. Many of you have had to rearrange schedules and change daily commute routines to help us enhance our campus as we build for the future at SUNY Upstate. We appreciate your support.
The move to campus lots and Garage West for employees parking at Alliance Bank Stadium and the Syracuse Housing Authority lot began Sept. 2 and will continue through the end of the month. Contracts with the Alliance Stadium Bank and Syracuse Housing Authority lots end Sept. 30 as does shuttle and security services to those locations. As of Oct. 1, R and I lots will be the only remaining SUNY Upstate lots with shuttle service.
Employees whose parking assignments changed as a result of the garage construction have been sent information under separate cover on options for new parking assignments.
Monthly Parking Rates
As a result of the new facilities, monthly parking rates, some of which have been in place for the past 12 years, will be adjusted to reflect the new rates recently negotiated with the university’s respective bargaining units. For those not represented by bargaining units, comparable rates will be applicable. Although most rates are increasing, rates will continue to be below market and among the most favorable in the area. For instance, compared to the monthly garage parking rates for employees of a neighboring healthcare provider of $105 per month, the highest current employee rate at SUNY Upstate is $80 per month, approximately 25% less. Parking fees help to offset the costs of parking, including debt repayment relating to the construction of the new garages, lot leases, shuttle services, and parking and security personnel.
Parking Policy Changes
With the opening of Garage West, some additional changes to parking policies will be implemented along with enforcement of existing policies. They are:
- Access to Garage West and Garage East will only be provided to employees who have registered to park on campus and selected the garages, if available, as their parking choice. Free after-hours access in Garage East will end Sept. 30.
- Weekend and red holiday parking in Garage West and East will be open to all employees who are registered and paid campus parkers.
- Monthly permit parking in Garage East is located on the second “bridge” level and above. The use of the ground level, first level and ramp from the first level to the second “bridge” level is restricted for visitor use. The Parking Office is accepting requests to change monthly parking assignments from Garage East to Garage West if preferred.
During the most recent employee satisfaction survey many of you shared ideas and offered honest and open comments on parking. While not every suggestion can be implemented, please be assured that management is listening to your ideas and suggestions. In fact, we are in the process of implementing the following programs to support the needs of employees to identify cost-savings and energy efficiencies:
- NYS-Ride Program—NYS-Ride allows eligible New York state employees to pay for certain work-related transportation expenses, such as bus fares, on a pre-tax basis, similar to how some employees pay for health-related expenses, thus providing for additional cost savings. Individuals enrolling in NYS-Ride for eligible transportation expenses, authorize WageWorks to purchase public transportation fare tickets, tokens, etc., directly from one’s transportation provider through biweekly pre-tax payroll deductions. After at least two successive paycheck deductions, WageWorks will mail participating employees a pass, fare card, or commuter card.
- To register or obtain additional information visit NYS-Ride or call 1-866-428-7781 toll free.
- SUNY Upstate Carpool Program—The SUNY Upstate carpool program will provide employees with another way to save money and energy. While still under development, the car pool program will provide a means for identifying other employees with interest in carpooling. The Parking Office can provide additional information for those interested in sharing a carpool pass among carpooling participants. Enrollment will be through Self-Serve. More information on the car pool program will be forthcoming.
- Direct service to SUNY Upstate on Centro from the north and east remains a popular commuter option. Although we recommend use of the NYS-Ride Program, Centro passes will also be available for purchase at the Parking Office at Centro’s cost.
- We will continue to provide low-cost off-campus parking options in R-Lot and I-Lot. Additionally, R-Lot, which was previously available on weekdays through 1AM will now be accessible 24-hours on weekdays through 1AM Saturday morning.
Updated parking information can be found on the parking Web site as well as from the Parking Office, located on the first floor of University Hospital.
The Parking Office is available to answer your questions. You can call the office at 464-4801 between 7 am and 4 pm or send your question via email to firstname.lastname@example.org .