Patients will be able to park for free in UIHC’s ramps starting on Dec. 3

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UIHC parking ramp. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will be able to park for free in UIHC’s four parking ramps on its main campus starting Dec. 3, UIHC announced on Monday. Currently, only the first 30 minutes of parking is free, after which patients pay $1.20 an hour, with a maximum payment of $10 a day.

Patients will be able to print parking passes through their online UIHC accounts, or have a UIHC clerk print out a pass. The passes will have a bar code that is good for one use for a single vehicle.

Patient parking is already free at UIHC clinics not located on the main campus, which is east of Kinnick Stadium.

People visiting UIHC patients will also be able to get a price break on parking at the four ramps starting on Dec. 3.

Visitor Parking Pass Booklets will go on sale for $30 each. The booklets contain five passes, one of which can be used each day. But even with the pass, a visitor will have to pay up to $6 a day in parking fees.

“Improving the parking experience at UI Hospitals & Clinics is essential to enhancing overall patient satisfaction,” Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of UIHC, said in a press release. “We want our patients’ and visitors’ time here to be as positive as possible.”

The new parking fee structure is the result of a collaboration between UIHC and the University of Iowa Department of Parking and Transportation, which is responsible for all of UI’s more than 16,400 parking spaces, including those at UIHC.

“Parking and Transportation is committed to finding innovative and bold solutions for the campus,” Debby Zumbach, director of UI Parking and Transportation, said in the press release announcing the changes.

The parking fees at UIHC have long been unpopular with patients and visitors, and have even fueled rumors that the money collected in parking fees at UIHC was secretly being funneled to the university’s athletic department. As then-Director of Parking and Transportation Jim Sayre told Little Village last year, there’s no truth to the rumors.

“We don’t share that revenue with Athletics,” Sayre said.

The Iowa Board of Regents requires the parking departments of each of its three universities — UI, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa — to be self-supporting, and the fees and fines they collect to pay for operations, maintenance and capital improvements with no additional money from the universities or other state funds.

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