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.