Start or Join a Carpool
The downtown Albany parking system makes it easier than ever for state employees to start or join a carpool. All you need is a minimum of 2 people (maximum of 4) to apply. Current carpools are subject to the revised carpool rate structure.
Carpool members with lower seniority can compete for parking in high demand lots, pay lower rates, and enjoy the many benefits of the program including:
- An allowance for “Missed Days” — days when the designated number of carpoolers are not in the vehicle (25 per carpooler)
- “Visitor Lot Day Passes” for use when a carpool member needs their car at work for the day in addition to the vehicle parked in the carpool location (7 per carpooler)
How to Get a Carpool Permit
- Compete for a carpool permit using your EPP. The seniority of the individual who initiates the carpool on their EPP will determine the seniority of the carpool.
- You must identify other State employees to carpool with (minimum of 2, maximum of 4).
- Designate a Carpool Leader, generally the patron with the most time in state service.
- The Carpool Leader and Members must create an Employee Parking Profile (Please remember that the Leader and Member(s) must choose the Carpool selection when creating the profile).
- Once the Leader and Member(s) have chosen their preferred lot (this must match), you will need to add your leader/member(s) using their N Number, First Name, and Last Name.
Please monitor our website for our next announcement date. Carpool Permits will be issued at the same time as Individual Permits. All carpool leaders/members should monitor their email for a Carpool Offer.
How Carpool Permits are awarded
Carpool permits will be made available in designated lots only, and be awarded using the same seniority-based system used for individual parking permits. The seniority of the individual who initiates the carpool on their EPP will determine the seniority of the carpool. Individuals listed as “members” on a potential carpool may also choose carpool as their parking preference, or may pursue an individual permit until the carpool is actually formed.
What are the Rates for Carpools?
Rates for carpools are the same as for individual vehicles in either garage or surface parking lots in total, but the payroll deduction will be shared equally among all members. You can find current carpool rates here.
To ensure fairness, OGS Parking Services will strictly enforce all carpool program guidelines.
- Carpools must park in designated areas in each lot
- The correct number of members need to arrive in the car each day
- Carpools arriving with fewer members will be assigned a “Missed Day”
- Only the car with the Carpool Program hangtag will be allowed in the designated lot each day
- Carpool members may not be dropped off prior to parking in their designated area
Each carpool will receive a single Carpool Hangtag, which will indicate the lot, and show the number of carpool members. In parking locations where gate access is required, access will be applied to the carpool hang tag which will be used to access the gate. Access will not be added to individual carpoolers ID badges.
If a carpool does not have their hang tag upon entrance to a location, they must request that the onsite staff verify they are carpool permit holders. Once verified and approved they can be granted access to the parking area.
Each carpool member will be granted twenty (25) allowable “Missed Days” per year (from the date of permit issuance), so a two-person carpool be allowed 50 missed days. Each time the car with the carpool hangtag comes to the designated parking area with less than the correct number of carpool members (indicated on the hangtag), the OGS Parking Attendant will record a missed day for that carpool. When a carpool has exhausted all their missed days, the carpool will be disbanded and the members suspended from participating in the Carpool Program for the remainder of the year. In this event, former carpool member(s) can compete for individual permits immediately. OGS Parking will notify each carpool member via email when their number of misses equals 80% of the total available, and each time another miss is recorded. Carpool members who have an extenuating circumstance, such as a long-term illness can submit a written request for special consideration to OGS Parking, which will evaluate them on a case by case basis. Unused missed days from one year will not be carried onto the next year.
When a carpool member leaves a carpool, the remaining member(s) must report the departure immediately to OGS Parking Management. Members continuing to park without the full registered number of carpoolers will be subject to enforcement action including citation, towing and suspension of permit privileges.
In addition to missed days, each carpool member will be granted seven (7) Day Passes per year, which will allow them to park a single-occupancy vehicle in a designated Visitor Parking Area at no charge. The designated visitor areas will be proximate to the carpool lot, but not in the lot itself. Day Passes must be surrendered to the Parking Attendant when used. Unused day passes must be returned to Parking Management when a carpool is renewed after one year.
If a carpool member decides to leave the carpool for any reason, the remaining member(s) will have 2 weeks to notify OGS Parking that they have found a replacement member. If a replacement cannot be found, the remaining carpool member(s) will have 30 days to change their parking preference to compete for parking as an individual.
OGS Parking will strictly enforce the rules of the Carpool Program. Carpool members and their carpoolers who fail to comply with the rules, are subject to citation, towing, and having their carpool terminated. All violations against a carpool member are assessed against all participants of the carpool.
Therefore, any missed days, multiple vehicle abuse, or any such violations of carpool or OGS Parking policies can result in enforcement action, including but not limited to citations and towing, against all carpool member vehicles. Violations include but are not limited to:
- failing to park in designated areas
- dropping off members prior to parking
- failing to display the carpool hangtag
- having two carpool cars in the same lot on the same day
- exceeding the allowable number of missed days
In this event, former carpool members will have 30 days or until the next round of issuance (whichever comes first) to change their parking preference to compete for parking as an individual, and be barred from participating in the Carpool Program.
Carpool permit holders must park in the designated carpool areas, in each lot or garage. In most locations, carpool spaces will be identified with a sign saying, “Permitted Carpool Only”. These locations are broken down in the chart shown below.
Carpool vehicles must enter and exit through their designated parking location, e.g., P-2 South carpoolers must enter and exit through the P-2 South main entry/exit gate only.
Carpool members who are using their “Day Pass” must park in designated Day Pass Areas only, and these may NOT be the same location as the regular carpool parking lot.
Please refer to the table below:
|OGS Parking Lot||Carpool Parking Location||Designated Day Pass Area|
|Swan Street Bridge||Current Carpool Location||Madison Visitor Lot, West of the NYS Museum|
|East Parking Garage||4th floor near the booth||Grand Street|
|Empire Plaza P-2 South||Near entrance left of the booth||Empire State Plaza Visitor Lot P-3 North|
|Sheridan Hollow Garage||Level 4||Elk Street Lot|
|625 Broadway||Level 5||Water Street Annex|
|Grand Street||Available space within lot||Available space, Grand Street|
Policy & Requirements
It is the policy of OGS to centrally manage carpools within the Downtown Albany parking area, under a single carpool program through the Employee Parking Profile (EPP). The goal is to promote higher occupancy per vehicle during commuting trips between home and the workplace, thereby reducing environmental impacts and maximizing the available parking resources.
To qualify for participation in a carpool, applicants must be State employees, work in the Downtown Albany parking area, and agree to abide by the program’s guidelines. Carpools must be a minimum of two (2) people with a maximum of four (4). Carpool members may not hold any other OGS parking permits and each member must be payroll deducted, have a valid driver’s license and at least one vehicle registered in their name.