Class-bound University students need not pay event parking rates

by Erin Ghere

During nighttime University events, students taking evening classes often get stuck with a $6 event parking bill just to get an education.
But they can pay less than half of that by calling Parking and Transportation Services.
Some students do not know they can pay nonevent parking prices when lots increase parking costs for events, said Cari Hatcher, spokeswoman for Parking and Transportation Services.
The remedy for paying event parking prices: a hang tag from parking services. The hang tags can be obtained at the University College office at 101 Wesbrook Hall.
Students using the tags can park in Lot 33, the carpool lot on the corner of Fifth Street Southeast and 17th Avenue Southeast, on event parking nights for $2.50, the price of nonevent parking.
Once construction begins on that parking lot this summer, Lot 37, across the street from Lot 33, will be used for the alternate parking.
Other options for evening students include parking in the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum parking lot, which charges $1.60 per hour, or parking on the St. Paul campus for similar prices and taking Campus Commuter buses to the Minneapolis campus for classes.
Another recently developed program offers students yet another option for evening parking.
Students can purchase evening parking permits, making them useable between 4 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. during the week and all-hours on weekends.
The contract is available for $23 per month. They are not sold out, Hatcher said, because word has not spread that they are available.
The contracts are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis; most lots at the University have at least some spaces available for purchase.
“Not every lot on the East Bank charges event rates,” Hatcher said.
Lots charge the $6 event rate two hours prior to when the event begins.
Lots that post event parking rates vary depending on what the event is, what time it begins and if there is more than one event per night, Hatcher said.
Hatcher said the department does receive some complaints and they usually escalate during winter quarter, the peak event season. Usually the complaints are from students who do not have all the information, she said.
Information regarding event parking is published in all University College publications and parking publications, as well as on the Parking and Transportation Services Web site.