Chart of the Day: City of Minneapolis Parking Benefit Costs

Here’s an interesting chart…like many private employers, the City of Minneapolis offers appointed employees a choice of transportation benefits: a Metropass, good for unlimited trips on public transit, or contract parking within a block or two of their offices. Appointed employees are the 160 or so City staff who make up its non-elected leadership–people like department heads, assistant and deputy department heads, some attorneys, and a few others. You can view a list of all the job titles here.

According to a data request from the city, there are currently 163 employees in appointed positions, though this number will vary a bit from pay period to pay period from regular churn in a group of that many people. Out of that group, 30 employees choose the Metropass and 81 choose contract parking, which is mostly located in the Federal Courthouse ramp across the street from City Hall. The City has offices all over Minneapolis, and presumably most of those employees who didn’t choose an option work outside downtown where free parking is provided onsite or on street nearby. Each Metropass costs $76/month, while each parking space costs $145/month.

mpls parking benefits chart

The numbers will ultimately fluctuate a bit as employees come and go and choose different options, but extending the above figures to an annual amount, we get $27,360 for Metropasses and $140,940 for parking. If every appointed employee who picked one or the other picked the Metropass, it’d cost $101,232 for the year; if they all picked parking it’d be $193,140 for the year.

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5 Responses to Chart of the Day: City of Minneapolis Parking Benefit Costs

  1. Matt Brillhart March 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    Aside from the obvious “Why are we paying for their car storage?” comment, I thought of another weird angle to this story —

    Of the roughly 52 employees who chose neither a parking pass nor metropass (because we assume they work at a non-downtown location with abundant free parking), they are technically eligible to have a FREE unlimited Metropass but they have chosen not to take the city up on that offer? That’s pretty nuts…

    Back to the main issue at hand, shouldn’t the subsidies be equal at $76/month for whichever mode they choose? Why are we putting them up at the most expensive ramp downtown? Couldn’t we subsidize their parking at a less expensive ramp nearby and have them walk a couple blocks (via street or skyway)? Or just provide the $76/month in cash and make them pay the rest out of pocket if they choose a more expensive ramp?

    • Adam Miller
      Adam Miller March 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

      Aren’t there several city-owned ramps in the vicinity too?

    • Rosa March 19, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

      if I remember from when I had this benefit at a job, the free pass is taxable income. So that’s one reason not to, if you wont use it.

      It’s possible some of those people are having to go places other than the office during the day, that a lot of those places aren’t easily accessible by foot or transit, and I’d assume the city, like most employers, assumes those employees will have and use their own cars for that.

    • Zach March 20, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      It isn’t free, it’s $60 (though it is pre-tax).

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