Ohio State University has moved ahead with leasing their parking operations to Australian company QIC and US partner LAZ Parking, in a 50 year contract deal worth US $483 million.
According to the Star Tribune, the university pushed the plan as a way of providing cash flow at a time of declining public funding, with the aim of funding a wide range of services, from more faculty members to extra student financial aid. The contract caps annual parking rate increases at 5.5 per cent for the first 10 years, and after that at the lower of either 4 per cent, or the rate of inflation.
With interest, the $483 million will ultimately grow to about $8 billion over 50 years, which will provide $3.1 billion for priority areas including hiring more faculty staff, providing more student aid, supporting the arts and humanities and paying for the university's bus services.
Under the plan, the university will maintain ownership of its parking garages and spaces, which total more than 35,000 spaces.