May 23, 2022
Author: Jonathan D. Epstein | Source: The Buffalo News
Coming to a parking ramp near you: hybrid rates for hybrid workers.
As downtown employees start to come back to their workplaces, many employers are already adjusting to the new world order in which workers spend only part of their week in the office.
Now the operator of the city’s five major parking ramps is making the same adjustment to accommodate commuters who only commute a few days each week.
In New York State, Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps is introducing a new option for hybrid workers, adding a 14-day “expanded part-time monthly parker” option to the existing part-time payment plan, which will also see its rates adjusted.
“It’s changed because of Covid,” said Samuel F. Iraci Jr., BCAR executive director. “We’re launching a program where people can pay discounted monthly rates and park a reduced number of times per month.”
The new option is designed for people who work downtown three days a week. That means they need to use the city-owned ramps or parking lots more often than would be allowed under the previous 10-exit option, but not enough to justify a full monthly parking permit.
“Both programs have been designed to assist public parking customers who work part of their schedule at home and the remaining time in their downtown offices,” BCAR said in a notice to its customers.
Both the 10-exit and 14-exit plans are discounted by 30% from the regular monthly rate. Rates range from $52 to $63 per month for the 10-exit plan, depending on the ramp, and from $73 to $88 for the 14-exit plan.
BCAR operates the city-owned Adam, Mohawk, Turner, Augspurger and Fernbach ramps.
Current and new customers must fill out an application to sign up. Applications are available online through the BCAR website or at the organization’s offices at 255 Pearl St. The new program and rates will take effect May 1.
Iraci said the agency is also bringing back other programs like ridesharing, shuttles and a discounted corporate pass. It’s also planning to double the number of electric-vehicle charging stations from 16 to 32, in partnership with National Grid and the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency.
“This is not just what the market is telling us, but it fits into the city’s traffic demand management plan,” Iraci said. “Although our occupancy is slightly down, I see evidence of pretty significant changes.”
He noted that M&T Bank Corp. is now starting to bring back its workers, while the ramps are also getting business through renewed activity with the Statler and Hyatt Regency Buffalo, as well as Ellicott Development Co.’s redevelopment of the former Hens & Kelly Building at 478 Main St.
Even tenants at Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.’s affordable housing development at 201 Ellicott St. — which was built without its own parking as part of the city’s strategy to de-emphasize cars — are calling BCAR, Iraci said.
“You have tons of hybrid workers now,” said Keith Belanger, chairman of Buffalo Place and a senior vice president at M&T.
“There are a lot of companies that got used to remote work. It’s hard to get them back, so to get them back you’ve got to encourage them,” he said. “Those who are hybrid are not going to come in five days a week, so they don’t want to pay for it.”
This article is written by Jonathan D. Epstein from The Buffalo News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].