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PSO comments regarding changes in parking and UPASS

On February 11, PSO summited the following letter to Transportation Services as our public comment regarding to the proposed changes to parking the UPASS. See our previous blog post on how you can summit on your own comment.

On behalf of the nearly 10,000 members of the UW Professional staff, the PSO Board hereby

    1. Supports extending a fully-subsidized U-PASS to ALL employees. Professional Staff have expressed support for a fully-subsidized U-PASS in PSO’s 2019 U-PASS survey and 2021 On-site work survey. In previous public meetings regarding parking rates, PSO advocated for a fully-subsidized U-PASS. We agree with the proposed shift away from the unsustainable model of funding the U-PASS through parking fees. Having the U-PASS as a universal benefit will help meet UW’s goal of less than 12% or fewer commuting trips made by driving alone by 2028.
    2. Calls on UW to find a more equitable way to price parking. An increase in parking rates will be another, disproportionate financial burden placed on some staff where parking is the only option including for employees with certain disabilities. When surveyed, professional staff had concerns over increased parking rates. Increasing the overall price for parking will help pay for expensive parking infrastructure, address deferred maintenance, reduce parking usage as outlined in the Campus Master Plan, and reduce carbon emissions. We appreciate the availability of lower cost lots, but UW needs to identify strategies that do not penalize the people who are already struggling the most.
    3. Urges the UW to work to improve transit service. Reduced and inadequate transit service restricts commuting options for many employees such as those who must juggle off-peak work schedules and/or caregiving responsibilities. The UW must actively participate in improving the regional transit system by advocating for improvements. Transparency and communication will strengthen the work being done in this area by Transportation Services. The U-PASS should be a useful benefit to ALL UW employees.

Last but not least, the skyrocketing cost of living and lack of affordable housing push Professional Staff and other members of the UW community to live farther away from campus. By working in partnership with local and regional leadership, UW needs to continue to address the underlying systemic issues that help create long commutes.


The Professional Staff Organization (PSO) Board
Professional Staff Organization, University of Washington