Housing Complex

GSA Sees the Light, Will Make Employees Pay For Parking

To date, employees of the General Services Administration have all be able to park for free at their federal office buildings. Come August, that'll change. This all-staff email went out recently:



SUBJECT: Important changes to parking In the National Capital Region

As of August 1, 2011, all GSA personnel (employees and contractors) who park in a federal building or in a GSA-leased location in the National Capital Region will be required to pay for parking.

GSA recognizes that it has a responsibility to increase the sustainability of the Federal government and can do so by reducing the environmental impact of the green house gas emissions we generate. One way we can do that is by reducing incentives such as free parking. Charging for parking is commensurate with common private sector practice.

GSA encourages other modes of transportation (biking, rail, bus, etc.) and the use of telework/mobile work.

Priority for assigning parking spaces will remain the same. Additional information will be sent in the next couple of weeks including a link that will describe the process, payment, and points of contact.

There will be no changes in parking space assignments – if you have a space today, you will not lose it when the payment program takes effect. In the event you do not wish to pay for your parking space, effective August 1st, you will be able to cancel your space.

This is a huge advance, and it'll also be a fascinating study in how having to pay for parking changes peoples' behavior. GSA, unlike the National Park Service, has also been forward-thinking about including alternative transit infrastructure like Bikeshare stations. And maybe the bureaucracy will get the legislative branch to finally change as well!

P.S. FOR THE RECORD UPDATE, July 28 5:00 p.m. – GSA's National Capital Region has 1,646 employees, and will be the agency's first region to charge for parking.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    does this apply to all federal employees, or only those who work directly for GSA?

  • dcav8r

    Must be just for GSA-- parking at the Reagan building is $20 bux a day or $293/month. Of course, now the interesting part will be to see how crowded the commuter buses get-- oy vey.

  • Lisa

    This is the best news I've heard today. A good many commuters with ultra-subsidized parking have an undervalued idea of the worth of DC real estate.

  • Lisa

    And, I mean to say, I hope this will become the standard for ALL federal workers. It's the higher paid ones who get this subsidy too.

  • http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com Richard Layman

    A huge problem for Capitol Hill is the fact that congressional workers able to get parking passes don't pay for parking.

  • Randall M.

    So does that mean the feds are going to fund other forms of transportation - i.e. mass transit, bikes or no transportation (telework). This could be a big change.

  • SJ

    Randall hit the real question: if the charging for parking isn't met with an equivalent investment in the mass transit options to and from the GSA facilities, it may just become a huge debacle instead.

  • Merv

    Nothing new......I work for GSA and already pay for parking. Have for years. I feel for the folks that are losing the benefit. What really burns me up that it's all being done in the name of sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. Get real. It's really being done because someone's performance objectives are tied to green initiatives.

  • Nice

    Glad the author of this blog has stooped as low as to advance the lines of attack on federal workers that the tea party uses. Nothing free for those lowlife federal workers! They don't deserve anything for free!

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Nice: Seriously? This isn't an attack on federal workers (I'm one too). No one should have free parking. Period. It's a product that's underpriced.

  • Nice

    It's a benefit to encourage recruitment and retention. Period.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Nice: I'd like to meet one person who took a federal job because of free parking.

  • Mike Madden

    @Nice -- If you look around on this blog, I think you'd find the author is just as skeptical of free parking for private sector workers, or for shoppers, or people going out to bars and restaurants, as she is of free parking for public sector workers.

    The Tea Party line would be, "Get rid of the federal workers," not "Bring sustainable transportation policies to the federal government."

  • Scott

    If the already overburdened METRO system actually worked properly and efficiently it might not matter so much, but to me this just means more overcrowded standing room only train cars and more broken escalators. Can't wait.

  • Nice

    I stay in my federal job with a lower salary than I could make in the priv sector for myriad reasons. Among them are the student loan repayment and free parking. This adds up and the parking isn't even taxed. Just these two benefits alone could mean as much as 12500 a year with 3k of that untaxed, which is really a lot more... So it is the equivalent of like a 15k salary bump? That's significant. I happen to like my job and every day I spend on it adds value for e in the private sector, but these things, like parking, keep me there longer.