Transportation Services will not raise the price of permits and citations next year, while also adding new parking options and lowering certain fees.
One change students will see in the fall is the replacement of the FCS permit with the remote (RM) permit. Lots 80, 81 and 85 will be redesignated to RM. The pass will be $195 for the year and available to any student regardless of their status as an on-campus resident or commuter.
“We think that remote permit is going to make a lot of sense for folks who are sensitive about the price point and just want a lower cost permit, especially given that you can park your car and jump on a bus that runs straight to the Union,” Communications Specialist George Stieren said.
Similar to the Eagle Fall pass offered last year, an Eagle Spring pass will now be available for off-campus students. It will be $150 and does not require students to be in their final semester to purchase it. The pass will expire the Monday after graduation and will not be valid during the summer.
The transportation department will remove the requirement of being enrolled in an evening class to buy an evening (EVN) permit. The hours for EVN will be extended to 3:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. Students can utilize this pass for attending on-campus club meetings or using exercise facilities at night. However, those who do not plan to visit campus regularly may want to instead buy a $2 all-day pass or use the ParkMobile app for a by-the-hour lot, Stieren said.
Graduate Student Council President Tiffany Miller and Student Government Association President Michael Luecke serve on the Transportation Services Advisory Committee.
“The extension of the evening permit hours to earlier in the day will be of great use to graduate students, especially those teaching undergraduate laboratories, music courses, and other similarly involved in-person courses or labs, as well as those graduate students conducting research themselves,” Miller said.
The increased access to evening parking also addresses students’ safety concerns.
“Many students have brought up the lack of lighting on campus specifically near greek Row and on the outer edges of campus,” Luecke said. “By increasing parking at night, students will not have to feel unsafe walking to parking lots that are far away. This will help students to feel more comfortable if they have to walk alone to their car, and to help them feel safe on campus.”
Some parking citations are also being altered this upcoming year. The fee for unauthorized parking in a Reserved lot will be reduced from $125 to $50. Vehicle tow fees will be lowered from $125 to $100.
“We’ve had a rough year financially,” Stieren said. “But nonetheless we don’t think it’s fair to raise prices given COVID-19.”
Per Texas state law, Transportation Services is an auxiliary service. It does not receive any university funding and financially relies entirely on permits and citations. While the number of people utilizing campus parking dropped 70 percent over the last two semesters, parking services have not been reduced, Stieren told the North Texas Daily. The department continues to pay off debt associated with Lot 20 and the Highland Street Parking Garage.
“I believe the reduction in citation fees is an attempt on Transportation’s part to better accommodate students’ needs and reduce the financial burden associated with citations, even if only a little right now,” Miller said. “Transportation’s zero budget format due to their status as an auxiliary service that does not receive university line funding makes large financial shifts –– for example, large reductions in permit costs or citation fees –– difficult. But I believe Transportation has taken the necessary steps to ensure they are able to manage their budget in the academic year to come with these small reductions in mind.”
Featured Image: A parking meter stands in front of the Union on March, 15, 2021. Image by John Anderson