Transportation fees go up

Parking and Transportation fees have been on the rise for the last few years.

by Jason Juno

University student Erin Durkee bought a U-Pass this year for $55. Last year, she could have bought the same pass for $50.

She said she has trouble believing that the price will remain the same.

“At the moment, it’s not too bad,” she said, but she said she wondered if it would rise from $5 to $10 in the near future.

Parking and Transportation fees are headed up. On July 1, carpool parking also increased to $2 per day, said Jacqueline Brudlos, marketing coordinator for Parking and Transportation Services.

“We review our parking fees every July, and carpool parking is one of the fees that has not increased in the past three years,” Brudlos said.

The daily lot price remained at $3.25 per day after two 25-cent price increases the past two years, Brudlos said.

Brudlos said she does not think rising carpooling fees will give people the wrong idea about parking.

The U-Pass fee has a number of reasons for rising, Brudlos said.

“The reason it went up was new contract negotiations, inflation, administrative costs, that kind of thing,” she said. “There’s many factors that determine how much a U-Pass costs.”

While she said it is guaranteed to remain at $55 for this school year, the current price cannot be guaranteed for next year.

“As for next year, it’s too early to tell,” Brudlos said.

She said it “will just only go up a small amount.”

Brudlos said U-Pass and Metropass prices should remain stable, because the University and Metro Transit have verbally agreed to a four-year contract to continue the service.

“We’re just waiting for a draft of the contract. I cannot say the contract is official, but it’s pretty close,” she said.

The U-Pass service began four years ago. Since then, the University and Metro Transit have inked two one-year contracts and one two-year deal.

“The reason we went for a longer contract is because a larger contract gives more price stability,” Brudlos said. “It just makes things more predictable for us. In past years, the price that we pay has increased. Inflation increases prices.”

Approximately 15,000 students purchase U-passes in a fall semester, Brudlos said.

Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons said a regular bus pass for a private citizen costs $90 per month, and a U-Pass costs $55 for the semester.

The price of Metropasses, unlimited bus passes for faculty and staff, will increase to $55 on October 1, Brudlos said. Last year, the passes cost $50 per month.

That $55 will go to Parking and Transportation Services. If too few passes are sold, some money must come from a required $12.50 student transportation fee, Brudlos said.

Parking and Transportation Services said it has received good feedback on the passes.

“Students love it. We get compliments all the time,” Brudlos said.

University student Jenna Gadient bought a U-Pass this semester.

“I don’t think I used it that much, so I think it was kind of overpriced,” Gadient said. “For the people that use it every day, it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal.”