Increasing commuter permit prices for those who live on or off campus in San Marcos and raising bus fees would be a good incentive to encourage more students to ride the buses, freeing up more parking spaces.
Lack of parking is a common complaint amongst students and faculty due to the number of cars flooding the limited amount of spaces on campus. For this very reason, raising commuter permit prices for students who live off campus in San Marcos would help increase available parking spots for those who actually need them. Pricier parking stickers would deter residents who live on or close to campus from parking in commuter spots and encourage them to ride the bus, use a bike or walk.
However, parking sticker prices for commuters from outside of San Marcos and visitors, of course, should stay relatively low cost, since taking a car is not optional for many of them with the cancelation of interurban bus routes. With an increase in commuter permit prices for students who reside off campus in San Marcos, the availability of parking spaces would no longer be in such short supply since less people from town would be taking up spots.
In conjunction, bus fees included in tuition should be slightly raised. This could go toward the purchase of additional trams, increasing bus route efficiency and bringing back the interurban bus routes. Reinstating bus routes to Austin and San Antonio would help a great deal of students commute to school, home and even work without having to take a car of their own.
Additionally, taking advantage of bus routes is beneficial for students. Students who choose to use the bus do not have to pay out the rear for a parking spot, nor do they have to climb Texas State’s infamous hills.
All of these changes could come together to make the buses more accessible and convenient for students. Students may complain about high parking and fee prices, but if more funding went toward the buses and parking services, parking would be less of an issue on campus.
Texas State’s Parking Services webpage cites one of its philosophies as “to minimize the intrusion of vehicles into campus and keep general vehicular circulation to the campus periphery.” Improving the tram circuits and encouraging people to use them regularly is the perfect way to adhere to this doctrine.
Developing incentives for students to take the bus serves to further the university’s eco-friendly campaign. The campus is already covered with recycling bins and fountains specialized for reusable water bottles. Sustainable food options are offered and encouraged in the dining halls.
Contributing to reducing our carbon footprint by reducing car usage is a logical next step.
Offering increased commuter permit prices for on and off campus residents who live in San Marcos is not necessarily a bad thing. An increased bus fee could ensure good, quality on-campus transit. In addition, a parking sticker price increase for those who live on and off campus in San Marcos could help secure spots for those who really need them. Both of these services are self-sustaining, and instead of criticizing, students should put their money where their priorities are. These services could be easily streamlined if resources were allotted more efficiently.