U. of Iowa: Hospital parking fees necessary for care, budget - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

U. of Iowa: Hospital parking fees necessary for care, budget

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - After one family publicly complained about steep parking fees at one Iowa City hospital, officials have stepped in to give their side.

Throughout the Iowa City campus you see the University of Iowa name everywhere, but some departments operate separately and like any other business, generate their own revenue.

That includes the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, the Athletic Department, and the Parking and Transportation Department.

"The rates are set to cover our costs," said Dave Ricketts, UI Parking and Transportation Director. "It's that simple."

Those costs are steep. The Parking and Transportation Department's annual budget is around $17 million. Each year it makes just enough money from ramps and meters to cover its costs, like maintaining ramps and running the Cambus system.

"All parking revenue is used exclusively to pay for parking costs," said Ricketts. "It goes for nothing else."

The department works with others, like the hospital and athletics department, to come up with parking options for visitors. But, it says, it can't afford to charge less.

The hospital does realize that it can be a challenge to pay for parking each and every time people come to visit. But the hospital would rather use its money to help make sure that there's a specialist available to help save patients' lives.

"We've decided to try to devote those resources to healing sick children," said Tom Moore, UIHC spokesperson. 

Hospital guests are offered discounted rates, whereas football fans pay more. On Hawkeye home games, one parking ramp is dedicated to hospital guests.

Rates at others increase to pay for security and game-day staffing needs in addition to parking costs. Money paid at the ramps does not go to the hospital or the athletic teams.
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