Parking officials implement solutions to alleviate debt

News Editor

Every parking space on campus will be monetized beginning next fall in an effort to alleviate Transportation Services’ debt and avoid raising permit prices, officials say.

Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, said the changes have been devised because the department “cannot continue operating in the red.” The changes will affect commuters, residents, faculty and staff. No permit fees will be raised for the upcoming academic year.

“It’s getting pretty tough trying to stretch our dollar,” Nusbaum said. “You can’t keep everybody happy, but we’re trying our best to accommodate people the best we can.”

A special event fee will be applied to parking garages in order to bring in revenue through avenues other than permits, Nusbaum said. The special event parking fee will be $5 per car in both the LBJ Student Center Parking Garage and Edward Gary Street Parking Garage. Departments will have the option to either pay for the fees itself or have its guests pay in cash to park the day of the event.

Commuters will see changes to their permit availability. Residents will not be allowed to purchase purple commuter permits because of over crowding in the commuter lots.

“A lot of our residential students bring their car and leave it there for weeks, 24/7 and they don’t work off campus, or go home, and their car just sits,” Nusbaum said. “Last year when they were able to buy the perimeter, students took advantage of it, rightly so, I certainly understand. But they were parking where our commuters could not find spaces.”

Residents can purchase the $485 green resident permits or a new $115 Mill Street Residence lot. This will allow residents to store their vehicles in the Mill Street lot during weekdays. Bobcat Shuttle will continue to run its Mill Street bus to the lot for transportation to and from campus.

Bobcat Village residents will not be allowed to purchase perimeter or the new Mill Street permit. They must buy the $265 permit specific to the complex.

Commuters will be allowed to purchase any left over green resident permits after the 12th day of class. About 125 commuters purchased residential permits this fall, Nusbaum said.

“We got kind of a late start, we’re going to be more timely,” Nusbaum said. “I think it might interest people to buy more because we’ve had the entire upper floor of Woods open and we’ve had Matthews with vacancies. We’ve had a lot of green (permit) vacancies.”

Hangtags will no longer be sold because they have been abused by some commuters, Nusbaum said. Students were sharing permits between multiple cars, which is prohibited.

Nusbaum said these changes were discussed with the Transportation Services Advisory Council, Associated Student Government, Residence Hall Association and Faculty Senate, among other groups, and were approved by the President’s Cabinet.