Parking rates to increase

Lynne Kozarek

Commuters will need to carry a little more change starting this summer. The cost of parking on campus is increasing again.
Parking and Transportation Services on Tuesday afternoon announced the decision to raise rates. The decision was made by Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations JoAnne Jackson, in consultation with the Faculty Senate Committee on Finance and Planning. The decision affects parking rates for both public and contract parking.
Public daily rates and off-peak parking will increase beginning on July 1 by 25 cents per hour. Student, staff and faculty contract rates will be increased by 2.5 percent beginning on Oct. 1. The only rates that will remain unaffected are the carpool rates, which will remain $1.00 per day. This was done in order to encourage commuters to carpool, said Bob Baker, director of Parking and Transportation Services.
The rate increase has been rumored since early May when it was decided that Route 52 would be continued. Increasing operating costs, capital needs and subsidizing Route 52 made the rise necessary, Baker said.
Baker estimates the increase in parking rates will bring Parking and Transportation Services an additional $600,000.
Parking and Transportation Services’ $16.4 million budget for fiscal year 1998 includes transit, bicycle and pedestrian programs.
Jackson said that when she made the decision to increase parking rates, she was trying to keep within the 2.5 percent guideline the University has for inflation.
“We’re trying to stay competitive with the options students, staff and faculty have,” Jackson said, referring to parking facilities around the University. “We are also trying to take a balanced approach between the different transportation options at the University.”
Although the higher rates will help fund the bus route, not all students are thrilled about the increase. College of Liberal Arts senior Matt Russell said he strongly disagrees with the decision.
“I think it is horrible,” Russell said. “I think it is one of the ways the University tries to shell money out of students.”
The increase will mean an average of another dollar a day for Russell, who said he parks approximately four hours per day.