Travis County ponders paying employees to leave car at home
Travis County employees, Pct.
In what turned into a long and
“That’s an economic incentive with demonstrated success at shifting transportation behavior,” said Mark Gilbert of the
The impact, according to Gilbert, can be big. “Studies show anywhere from 10 to 30
According to research by county staff, Travis County is the only urban county in Texas to provide free parking to its employees in
“It’s better than revenue neutral,” said Todd. “It makes money based on the estimates that have been made and that’s good for the taxpayers.”
Gilbert also told the commissioners there is an employee waiting list for assigned parking spaces in garages that are only at about 70 percent capacity.
“If you go with best practices,” said Gilbert, “which are not just zone, but zone for at least 20 percent overcapacity because of differential schedules, sick days, vacation days, all of that and you also aim for 90 to 95 percent occupancy, you would be talking about an additional 400 employees in those two garages (San Antonio St. and Granger) alone who could be parking.”
But the taxable stipend was a sticking
“Cashing out would be recaptured in a few different ways,” countered Gilbert. “One, we’re eliminating private leases. That saves us close to $100,000 a year if we’re able to do that. Second, being every space surplus, once that waiting list is gone, can be leased. It can be leased on the market for something close to $126 because that is the downtown average market rate.”
Switching to a zoned parking system away from assigned spots allows for vacation and sick days without sacrificing potential
A combination of zoned parking and the optional out for employees could eliminate the employee waiting list, provide more revenue even with the stipend and potentially reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles in downtown Austin.
“If I’m going to sit here and vote for zone parking, then I’ll drive up and down the parking garage like everybody else,” said Daugherty. “Take away my second floor parking.”
“Personally, if the County
The matter was tabled for a vote in two weeks.
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Key Players & Topics In This Article
Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.