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Ohio State Announces $483M Parking Lease Proposal

Ohio State University, this afternoon, formally announced it accepted the multi-million dollar bid from an Australian company to run its parking operations. WOSU reports the transition to the private management company could begin as early as this fall. “Probably sometime around October, but it will be a long-term transition," OSU Chief Financial Officer Geoff Chatas said. The board must first approve the plan later this month before QIC Global Infrastructure can begin running the university’s parking operations. "It won’t just happen overnight. It will happen during the course of the fall. In terms of this coming academic year everybody will continue to purchase their passes they way they always have. There will be no change in the process for this coming year," Chatas said. QIC’s $483 million bid was not the highest Ohio State received in its search for a management company. But QIC agreed to cap annual parking rate increases at 5.5 percent during each of the first ten years of the 50-year contract. OSU officials said the move to privatize parking is necessary to ensure financial stability in an uncertain global economy. They said shifting management to a private company will increase OSU’s endowment by nearly $5 billion, and generate $3 billion in interest income. But some OSU faculty said their research shows the university will just break even. QIC said it has chosen recently retired Central Ohio Transit Authority CEO Bill Lhota to chair the parking project.