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Ohio State Parking Privatization

You may have noticed some emails back around the end of Spring Quarter regarding a possible parking privatization deal, but like most students, you probably hit “delete” and didn’t give them a second thought.

While we were away for the summer, Ohio State’s Board of Trustees approved a deal to lease Ohio State’s parking operations to a private investor for a total of $483 million. This deal gives the investor, QIC Global Infrastructure, control over on-campus parking for the next 50 years.

The idea was first proposed early Spring Quarter and the Board of Trustees accepted bids from investors before voting unanimously to accept the bid from QIC Global Infrastructure on June 22.

Many students expressed concerns regarding the agreement. Two of the most common concerns were that the price of parking passes would increase significantly and that employees would lose their jobs. President Gee said in an email sent to students in May that price increases would be capped according to historical increases and that no employees would lose their jobs as a result of the agreement. He also stated that the reason for the parking privatization was that the university needed to seek outside funding. Although the nearly $500 million deal is expected to provide the university with over $3 billion in investment earnings, many people are still skeptical as to whether this was the best financial move for the school. According to the Wall Street Journal, past parking privatization agreements have had limited success. Ohio State is the first public university to privative parking and has paved the way for other schools to do the same. Indiana University is currently in the process of requesting proposals to lease their parking operations, as well.

Only time will tell if the university benefits as much as expected from this agreement. As a student, what do you think? Were you even aware that this happened? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: The Columbus Dispatch, “OSU Board Set to Privatize Parking for $483 million”, June 22, 2012

Photo: footprint.osu.edu

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