QIC Global Infrastructure has won a 50-year concession from Northeastern University, a US private tertiary institution in Massachusetts, to manage both its parking system and technology-related developments in future mobility services.
QIC and Northeastern have formed a new company, MasParc and Mobility, to oversee all aspects of the parking system at the university in Boston.
Tom Nedell, the chief financial officer of Northeastern University, described QIC as ”an ideal partner” because of its collaborative approach and expertise in managing infrastructure at institutions of higher learning.
“This partnership ensures an effective, flexible transportation system that addresses the needs of our campus and is highly responsive to our commuters while directing meaningful resources to our core education mission,” he said.
Trent Carmichael, partner, QIC’s Global Infrastructure, told IPE Real Assets that the university had monetised revenue rights from its parking system and that QIC had paid an “amount which we believe is reflective of market value”.
He explained that by monetising non-core assets, the university had the dual benefit of having funds to deploy to teaching and learning programmes and an investor with a dedicated focus to optimise the use of the asset.
The parking facility with 3,100 spaces services the university’s enrolment of 26,000 students and staff.
Carmichael said QIC had also negotiated rights to provide future mobility-as-a-service products based on commuters’ travel service needs.
“We think there is a spectrum of opportunities to make sure the parking system evolves with new technology and demand trends,” he said.
One of these trends would be autonomous vehicles, which would need somewhere to drop off, pick up and provide parking assets for passengers in a land-constrained urban environment.
“When we talk about mobility-as-a-service we look at giving commuters a choice of journeys,” Carmichael said.
“With a strategic asset like this, we can combine broader mobility with other services, such as links to last-mile solutions,” he said.
The latest investment is part of QIC’s plan to expand its infrastructure platform in the US. In 2012, QIC bought the parking concession at Ohio State University, forming CampusParc with the university under a 50-year concession.