Once again parking services is getting the last laugh after the recent hike in parking permit fees. The increase was addressed in an email sent to students, which attempted to explain why the hike was necessary. As if students do not have enough financial troubles. Parking services is making the financial situation worse.
Parking services is trying to justify its actions by stating that it is the first fee increase in three years. The email goes on to explain the increase will help the department’s annual bond debt due to the construction of Speck and Matthew Street garages. The permit fees are said to increase from $210 to $245 for Residence Halls and Apartments. Commuters and motorcycle passes will only go up $10, which is not too bad, but is still irritating.
Parking services already makes millions of dollars with current prices. In an April 14, 2011, University Star article, Stephen Prentice, assistant director for parking services, said there was a decrease in permit sales that year. Parking services also claims 80 percent of its revenue is generated from the sale of parking permits. This seems like another lame attempt to make students sympathize with the department’s financial situation. It is hard to sympathize with a department that is hell bent on ticketing innocent students and issuing citations for tedious permit violations.
There is much speculation that students might see an increase in ticketing due to the diminishing sales of permits. It is very possible that parking services will be cracking down a little harder in order to compensate for their lack of permit sales. Regardless of the outcome, students may be paying one way or another.
If there is one positive aspect to take away from this, the actions of parking services could discourage freshmen and students who live on campus from purchasing permits. This would allow more parking availability.
Overall, parking services looks like it might be shooting itself in the foot with price hikes. Their actions will not make students’ financial dilemmas any better and certainly will not remedy their own.