Auburn University Parking Services proposed an increase in the cost of permits for 2014-15 to make parking on campus more efficient and safer, according to Don Andrae, parking services manager.
Rob Garcia, student chair of the University Traffic and Parking committee and junior in finance, said the committee wants new parking areas on campus if parking permit prices are increased.
Garcia said the price of an A-Zone permit, given primarily to faculty and staff, should be increased if the prices for student parking permits increase.
“The next major expense that Parking Services is going to have, as far as building structures and what the University master plan indicates, is that it is going to benefit A-Zone pass holders, so when it comes to increasing hang tags, it needs to increase A-Zone,” Garcia said.
Andrae said for the permit year of 2011-12, the price for a proximate commuter parking pass and proximate resident parking pass was $160. A regular permit, such as A-Zone, cost $60.
In 2014-15, the permit prices were increased from $160-$180 and $60-$80 for proximate parking and regular parking, respectively, according to Andrae.
“By the increases of the past, we see that students are bearing all of the burden of any increased need for traffic and parking,” Garcia said. “And while we faced tuition increases in most of those four years and while we are looking ahead at probable tuition increase, it doesn’t make sense that student hang tags are continued to increase without A-Zone at least matching.”
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The A-Zone permit holders do not have guaranteed parking spots, and they often have to come in early and stay during lunch periods to ensure they will still have a parking spot, according to Andrae.
“We need to be aware that in the next traffic and parking committee, I will be looking to limit how much more student hang tags [prices] can increase without A-Zone matching, and I’m hoping to rally student support behind it,” Garcia said.
Andrae said a percentage of the increase in the permit fees was going into the contingency fund to restore it to the level it needed to be.
The contingency fund is known as the “deferred maintenance” fund at Facilities. The deferred maintenance fund comes from the general fund of the University, which is used to perform general maintenance.
“Since I have been here, in the four years, we’ve changed numerous signs trying to make it easier to understand where to park, and in the past, all those signs that were requested by Parking Services came out of what we call the contingency fund,” Andrae said.
Andrae said the same space an individual is paying $180 for now was $30 three years ago.
“We have over 6,000 faculty and staff and there are only 3,000 spaces for them,” Andrae said.
Even though the proximate parking permit-holders pay $180, they are still guaranteed a spot to park, unlike the spaces for RO, C, A and B, according to Andrae.
Andrae said faculty and staff would be willing to pay more for privileges proximate parking offers for students.
Allen Sutton, director of the Multicultral Center, said he thinks faculty and staff should be guaranteed parking because most commute to campus.
“I do think that, as a faculty or staff member, considering that a lot of us have to use our vehicles to come to campus, that we should be guaranteed a spot, especially something that is closer to where we are working or actually where we are participating on campus,” Sutton said.
Sutton said he would be fine with a price increases in faculty and staff passes so long as parking was guaranteed.
“I’m OK with paying more money if I know I have a spot,” Sutton said.
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