The post-it said:

Would you be willing to pay more for parking in order to cover the cost of an employee?

This one got me thinking. It is true that I want to pay as little as possible for parking, but if they guaranteed an employee present 24/7, I may be willing to pay a little extra. But how much more?

Well I did some math to figure out how much dough I would be spending. According to PayScale, the average pay for a parking lot attendant is $9.05. If I wanted to implement my idea of keeping the garage open with an employee always present, I would need to add an 8-hour employee every day of the week. This means that yearly, the employee would cost $9.05/hour * 8 hours/day * 365 days/year. This comes out to $26,426/year. This is the total added costs for the employee.

To figure out how much more money each person would have to pay, I researched the parking garage that I had parked at. This particular garage had an hourly rate, ranging from $1.50 for under an hour to $13 for a whole day. The garage has a total of 617 spaces, 124 for general parking, 353 for monthly parking, and 140 restricted spaces. Let’s assume that *only* the 124 general parking spaces are bought once each day (an assumption that I think greatly undervalues the income of this garage). If these 124 general parking spots were only occupied an average of 8 hours each day, then the cheapest possible rate for this parking garage (for 8 hours) is $11. So the total income currently made yearly under these circumstances is $11/hour * 365 days/year * 124 parking spots = $497,860.

So the current income for the garage is $497,860 yearly and the new employee would cost $26,426 yearly. To accommodate this new employee, we need the garage to make $497,860 + $26,426 = $524,286 yearly. Using the same initial assumptions and working backwards, we can say that the new average cost per customer would be $524,286 / (124 parking spots * 365 days/year) = $11.58. In other words, the average customer will need to pay an extra 58 cents per visit.

It may be that this issue is a little closer to home than it is for others, but 58 cents does not seem like a huge cost to provide this garage with 24/7 employee service. To answer the initial question, yes I would be willing to pay this much more to pay for this service. To me, it seems like a small price to pay to avoid the possibility of being trapped in a parking garage. And let’s be honest. Having an employee present overnight to watch the parking garage will add an extra form of security to the garage, a service that can justify the 58 cent charge on its own.