Ohio State parking transition receives mixed reviews after 3 months
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 21:12
Some parking customers have called the transition of Transportation and Parking to CampusParc ‘smooth,’ but others have complaints.
Just over three months since the transition, some of CampusParc’s customers are pleased with the organization’s operations.
“I’m west campus. I’ve been doing that for, God, seven, eight years now,” said Jim Oppermann, a lecturer for the Center for Aviation Studies. “I’ve found the service remarkably satisfactory.”
John Rapp, Sr. project manager for Facilities Operations and Development said the parking has been fine but his experiences have not always been perfect. He has noticed sometimes there are cars backed up as people are leaving campus.
Others said they have had minor if any complaints about the transition as well.
“The transition was really smooth,” said Mike Penner, an associate athletic director for Ohio State. “I give CampusParc a lot of credit for coming in before the football season started.”
Penner said CampusParc came to OSU in July to observe and get involved in the university’s parking process so when the athletic department, one of CampusParc’s biggest customers, had events they would also have parking.
“We met and tried to hammer out all the different processes, and procedures and people who were going to be involved in those and the agreement went into effect on Sept. 21,” Penner said.
Sarah Blouch, the director of CampusParc and former executive of Transportation and Parking, said she has heard the whole spectrum of comments.
Blouch said many of the comments she has heard have been about cars backed up at the end of the day when people are leaving campus.
Blouch said she has also heard people report not finding parking when they come to campus at peak hours. However she said those complaints were standard during her time at Transportation and Parking.
“People don’t take a lot of time to compliment parking usually,” Blouch said. “That’s been my experience of the 17 years I’ve been at OSU and before that at the University of Oklahoma, but you know we have had some people.”
Blouch said people have told her she has helped to make the transition easier.
“I’ve heard feedback from some of the faculty and staff that they’re happy that I’ve moved over to CampusParc and that I can kind of help provide some continuity and some history behind why we do what we do,” Blouch said.
She said some people are upset about the privatization of the parking.
“I have responded to some emails from people who are unhappy about that, but the response is really, ‘I can’t change that decision,’ nor did I make that decision,” Blouch said.
The decision to lease OSU’s roughly 36,000 parking spots to an outside vendor for a 50-year contract was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 22. The $483 million deal with QIC Global Infrastructure, an Australia-based investment company, gave them control over the operations of parking garages, lots, and permit sales on campus. CampusParc manages the day-to-day operations of this investment.
Blouch said she is trying to make the best of a situation that to many was a controversial decision.
“All we can do is deal with what we have control over, which is to make sure we provide at least as good service as T&P used to provide and then we’re looking to find ways if we can do something better we will certainly do everything we can,” Blouch said.
Penner said he wishes people would be patience with CampusParc.
“I think whenever there is change … not every process or procedure can be implemented and understood and educated over night,” he said. “So there is going to be a learning curve for everybody.”
“We want to make it at least a happy experience if you have to come and park. It should kind of be a non-event,” Blouch said. “It should not be the highlight of your day. It’s just parking your car.”