Parking availability, permit prices increase

$20 added to parking pass price, while new parking deck begins construction

Changes come with the start of each new school year, and parking permits are ?no exception.

“This year, student commuter and faculty and staff permits increased by $20. Perimeter permits for students and faculty and staff increased by $10 and reserve permits increased by $30,” Chris D’Esposito, director of parking services, said.

Student residential permits are now $320, student commuter permits are $265, student perimeter permits are $180 and student reserve permits are now $540. There have also been changes made to the amount of parking spots.

“The most noticeable change with regards to parking will be the initial construction of the South Campus Parking Deck. This project is located in the Barnwell Hall and Martha Parham area and is scheduled for completion in July 2015,” D’Esposito said. “During construction, a few changes to existing parking were necessary to meet both the needs of the project as well as satisfying parking needs for the academic year.”

Kenneth Harris, a UA sophomore, said parking at the University is “absolutely horrible.”

“Frankly, they need more parking for students, or they need to change the freshman car rule, because it’s hard to find a spot no matter where you are on campus,” Harris said.

D’Esposito said the University goes to great lengths in assisting students with ?transportation needs.

“Crimson Ride Transit stops are strategically located to maximize availability and increase efficiency,” he said.

D’Esposito said convenience depends on personal perception, so great parking for one person could be terrible for another.

“Another time saving service offered by Crimson Ride is TransLoc, a real time mapping system that allows individuals to use their smartphone to see where the next bus is. Students or faculty and staff needing after hours transportation back to their vehicles can call 348-RIDE (7433), an on demand service that will take them back to their vehicle,” D’Esposito said.

While there are visible changes to parking on campus, Harris said parking passes are still too expensive for the available options.

“For the amount of flat space we have, it can’t be too hard to build parking upwards,” he said.

If students decide to park illegally or in a zone where they are not allowed to park, they risk receiving a ticket or citation.

“Citations range between $25 and $500. Individuals can go to bamaparking.ua.edu to see a list of violations and corresponding fines or stop by Transportation Services to pick up a campus map that also has this information listed,” D’Esposito said.

In terms of labor, the Transportation Services workers are on alert every day.

“Approximately 50,000 to 55,000 citations are issued to illegally parked vehicles yearly,” D’Esposito said. “On average citation revenue totals between $1.5 million and $2 million annually, all of which goes back into the operating revenue of the department to fund current and future transportation needs and projects.”

The price of Auburn University’s parking passes for students ranged from $80 to $180, depending on proximity to campus, with less overall revenue from citations.

“From the first day of school to July 15th this year, Auburn University issued 18,264 tickets or citations and the total amount collected was $786,500,” Don Andre, manager of parking services at Auburn University said. “Although, due to many of the tickets being reviewed or dismissed, our actual revenue total ?was $554,000.”

Auburn University’s transportation services receives state funding and is not responsible for maintenance or upkeep, unlike The University of Alabama.

“Transportation Services is a self-supporting department and receives no state funding. We are responsible for construction and maintenance of surface parking lots and parking decks,” D’Esposito said. “We also assist with subsidizing Crimson Ride with the purchasing of new transit buses. We are responsible for our own expenses including employee wages and benefits, equipment, software, and so on.”

D’Esposito said every year, the department pays a debt service of over $1 million on existing parking decks. Another million is set aside for maintenance with another million designated for roadway and surface ?lot maintenance.

Registration for 2014-2015 student parking permits began July 9th. Students can go to bamaparking.ua.edu with other questions ?or concerns.

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