»Auction FAQs

+-Do I need to enter the auction to get a Chapman parking permit?

No. You would only enter an auction if you wanted a reserved parking space or the low-cost VPO permit.

+-So there is not a problem with the number of parking spaces at Chapman – the issue you’re trying to address is students’ desire to park centrally during peak times?

Exactly. Chapman fully complies with all City of Orange requirements for the provision of parking spaces, and demonstrates the effectiveness of its parking program each year by hiring a respected independent traffic engineering firm to conduct a study and submit a report to the city with supporting documentation.

+-So if I’m a student who lives in the residence halls, I don’t need to participate in the auction?

Correct. You have your own permit parking in the residence halls complex.

+-What if I don’t drive a car to campus?

If you don’t have a car and don’t drive to campus, you can have the parking fee waived – this has been the situation in the past and will continue to be so

+-Has Chapman considered alternative solutions other than doing a parking auction?

Yes, and carefully.

Here are some of the other options we are pursuing in addition to providing the auction:

  • Building a new parking structure and plans to expand the existing Lastinger Structure
  • Encourage alternative transportation to campus (bus, train, carpool) to relieve demand – We are officer incentives for those using alternative transportation. 
  • Partnered with Zip Car to provide convenient transportation for those choosing not to bring a vehicle to campus.
  • Contracting a shuttle service

+-This new system doesn’t seem fair and equitable! Only the rich get to park in Reserved spaces!

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to design a parking system that everyone will be happy with.  We already know that, while we have enough total parking spaces to accommodate everyone, the system we have still isn’t completely satisfactory to our primary customers: those whose tuition payments fund a large proportion of the university’s annual operations.  With C-Park, some commuter students who can only arrive at, say, midday, will now have a fighting chance to park in a convenient central location when they were unable to do so in the past. So yes, it’s true that this more central and convenient parking location will likely cost more, but the alternative solutions seemed more unpalatable because of the associated costs to all.

+-So why don’t we just have a First-Come, First-Served (FCFS) system? That seems fair to all.

Actually, when you think about it, FCFS is not really fair to all and it’s pretty much what we’ve always had before. What about students or faculty who can’t get to campus until the midday peak parking time and really have no opportunity to land a central space in, say, Lastinger or Argyros?  Under the C-Park system, at least some of those folks will now have more of a chance.

+-I'm a student and I already paid for fall parking when I registered – does that mean I don’t need to participate in the auction?

Yes. However, if you do want to have a Reserved Parking Space, or take advantage of the low-cost option of a VPO permit, you must participate in the auction. Otherwise, your annual parking fee gives you access to many of the other lots on campus just like last year. 

+-I’ll bet President Doti and Chancellor Struppa don’t have to participate in the auction. They get free parking spaces, right?

Not true. The President, the Chancellor and all senior university staff who bring a vehicle to campus will participate in an auction. Most senior staff park in the Memorial lot, which is a Reserved lot.  So they will be bidding on Reserved spaces.  

+-Speaking of the Memorial lot, I usually see some empty spaces in there – what gives?

While some senior staff park in the Memorial lot, the spaces are mostly there for VIPs, trustees and governors, and visitors to the president, chancellor and other Memorial Hall offices. So you may see some empty spaces in there at certain times of day. But during board meetings, board committee meetings and other VIP activities, the lot will indeed be full.

+-Chapman is making a lot of money off this auction, right? Isn’t this just another way to make money?

Actually, no. Parking is not a money-making proposition at Chapman.  It is a necessary and important service that we provide.  When you add it all up, the cost of providing and maintaining parking facilities is much more than the revenue we receive from parking permits, citations, meters and special events. So, Chapman really subsidizes annual costs associated with campus parking so that individual members of the campus community do not full bear the expenses. But that’s OK – this is all part of the “cost of doing business,” and we think it’s a good thing to do.  The purpose of this auction is primarily to help alleviate congestion and reduce search time at peak times of the day in the central campus area. So please don’t be too cynical! We’re actually trying to do something good here.

+-Who can bid in the auction?

Commuter students, faculty and staff who wish to take advantage of the low-cost VPO permit, and those who wish to purchase Reserved spaces.

+-What, exactly, is being auctioned?

Annual permits for the VPO Lot and annual permits for a reserved space are being auctioned.

+-So if I bid, do I get my own parking space?

Only if you bid and win the Reserved Space auction.  If you bid in the VPO auction, what you will get is a permit to park in that location only if you successfully bid in the auction and win.  It’s a searching license; a space cannot be guaranteed.  But since now only people who won permits in the auction will be allowed to enter and look for a space, the search time should be less. If you own an VPO Permit, but are unable to find an empty space, you can park in the Cypress Lot.

+-Online auctions scare me! What if I end up paying more than I want?

We’ve tried to make the online Auction interface as easy and user-friendly as possible – you’ll see.  And there’s no way you will end up paying more than you bid.  Your bid is your bid.  If your bid is high enough, you will either pay what you bid, or you could end up paying less.  If your bid is too low, you just won’t receive a reserved space or a permit to park in the VPO lot.

+- What happens if I’m at class or at work and can’t place a bid when the auction starts? Also, I don’t want to have to keep checking in and babysitting this auction!

No worries. You can get into the auction and place a bid BEFORE the "clock ticking" part of the auction begins. For the Reserved Space and VPO auctions, you can actually bid starting on August 19th , and the auction clock will start at 10 a.m. on August 27th. You can bid any time during the auction, but it’s wise to bid as early as you can, as tie bids will be recorded by time stamp (that is, the earlier bid will beat the later bid, all else being equal). If you bid high, you probably won’t need to worry about checking in on your bid as much, but that’s up to you. Because the price ticks down until all permits are gone or the base price is reached, you will only pay what the ending price is.

+-Is the price I bid in the parking auction the total parking permit cost, or a premium price ABOVE the base price?

For the Reserved Space Auction, your bid is only for the premium above the “regular” permit fee.  It represents the extra amount you’re willing to pay  -- above the basic $330 annual permit price -- for the right to park in a reserved space for the full academic year.  An annual permit is not required in addition to the VPO permit and fees will be adjusted for those successfully participating in the auction.  The final bid price will not exceed $50.

+-What happens when I win the auction? What do I need to do then?

After the auction has ended, you will receive e-mail notification from Parking Services containing detailed instructions on how to proceed.

+-What happens if I don’t win the auction?

You’ll simply use your regular parking permit to park wherever that permit normally allows you.  You just won’t be able to park in the VPO Lot or a reserved space during restricted hours.

+-What has changed with the reserved parking permits in '13-'14?

Nothing. Reserved spaces are still restricted to the space holder 24-7 except for Commencement weekend or special circumstance as determined by Parking Services.

+-Where are the Reserved Parking Spaces?

The owner of a Reserved permit may choose the location of their parking space. The parking space may be located in any parking facility except Memorial or Hashinger.  The order of selection of the reserved spaces will be determined by the bid value and time the bid was placed:  The winner with the highest winning bid submitted first will select first and so on.  In the case of identical winning bids, the individual with the earliest auction time/date stamp will select first.
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