In an effort to become more efficient and improve services, the University of Louisiana is proposing to enlist a private company to manage parking on campus and is exploring partnering with Lafayette Consolidated Government to provide expanded shuttle service for students.
"Over the past few years, the university's budget model has been shifting from one that is primarily funded by state monies to one that is mostly supported by self-generated revenue. We've been looking at a variety of ways to become more efficient and considering outsourcing of services where appropriate. We think that our parking and transit operations fit this approach," said Dr. Joseph Savoie, university president.
UL Police Chief Joey Sturm, who temporarily oversees the Parking and Transit Office, presented the parking management proposal to the state Civil Service Commission on Wednesday.
Commission members said they like UL's plan to retain nine Civil Service employees in the parking division who would be supervised by a management firm. The university is working out the details of its proposal and will seek the commission's final approval within three months.
Sturm said the university plans to seek requests for proposals from parking management firms that "would decrease expenditures, increase revenue and improve customer service."
The university is also discussing a partnership agreement with Lafayette Consolidated Government in which LCG would provide shuttle service for students, reducing the university's operating expenses and eliminating vehicle fleet management costs. Also, the city buses will run on compressed natural gas, which is more efficient and cleaner than the diesel fuel used by university buses.
LCG would provide shuttle service between the Cajun Field parking lot and the main campus. LCG would also increase routes and services to student riders.
"Our interest in partnering with LCG on a cooperative transit system started as we began work on our master plan and began exploring possible budget efficiencies. Our further interest is to increase services and promote sustainability," said Savoie. "As the university enhances its living-learning environment and increases the number of students living on campus, we need to broaden services."
Sturm said that both the parking contract and LCG partnership could be in place as soon as Spring 2013.