Budget council recommendation could increase parking permit prices

A vehicle pulls into the Pearce Ford Lot on April 9. Part of the budget council’s recent recommendations could be driving up the price of parking passes next semester.

Matt Stahl

A line in the budget council’s recommendations that proposes changing revenue-producing units into revenue-dependent units may drive up the price of parking permits and parking tickets if the suggestion is applied to the Department of Parking and Transportation Services.

Jennifer Tougas, Director of Parking and Transportation Services, said PTS was not guaranteed to become revenue dependent, but it was something that was being discussed.

“If we were to become classified as a revenue-dependent operation, one thing that would happen was that we would be able to keep our carry forward [funds], which would allow us to save for capital projects, and that would be a positive,” Tougas said. “A potential detriment would be that any revenue dependent [department] would be required to pay a tax back to the university of 7 percent.”

The budget council’s recommendation also included implementing a 7 percent tax on all revenue from revenue-dependent units.

Tougas said if PTS had to make up revenue in the future, then a change in prices for parking tickets and parking permits may become a possibility.

Sophomore Austin Parrish said he did not want to see a parking price increase, even with the budget cuts in effect.

“I would not be happy about paying more for my parking,” Parrish said. “Getting a parking spot right now, the prices are a little outrageous if you ask me.”

Parrish said he felt increasing parking prices would put an unnecessary hardship on him because he already struggles to pay for school.

“Right now I’m relying on FAFSA money, FAFSA loans,” Parrish said. “I’ll have to get two jobs next semester to pay out my rent for an apartment. It wouldn’t be good.”

Sophomore Riley Slaughter said an increase in the price of parking passes or in parking ticket costs would have a serious negative effect on him, but he understands that budget cuts are a campus-wide issue.

“I feel like if they do bring parking passes and tickets up in price, they should guarantee spots as an incentive instead of just staying with the old method,” Slaughter said. “That is a problem, I understand that, but to do that to students is hard for us to understand when we’re already having trouble finding parking spots in the first place.”

Tougas said PTS is also planning to reduce bus services, dropping several buses from the White and Red lines and keep them on the reserve fleet. Changes in the bus routes mean those buses will no longer be needed, and keeping them on reserve will save money, she said.

News reporter Matt Stahl can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Matt on Twitter at @mattstahl97.