Article Originally Published by Brooke Colombo on North Texas Daily
Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily
Transportation Services stated that permit prices will increase by $25 to $50 for next year due to changes in the department’s budget. Additionally, the April 17 permit presales were canceled.
Trista Moxley, senior communications specialist of Transportation Services, said the department hopes to have permits for sale by the beginning of May and that students and faculty may notice an increase in the price of permits.
Since Transportation Services is an auxiliary service, it cannot be funded by student tuition or the state of Texas, so it must fund itself in other ways.
“Everything we do has to be funded by what we do in here,” Moxley said. “That means that all of our funding comes from permits, citations, a little bit of event — so like when people come in with an event on campus, they pay for parking for that — a little bit of part mobile, but primarily citations and permits.”
Moxley said that of their about $10 million budget, around $3.2 million is allocated to UNT Police, around $1.5 million to paying the debt service for Highland Street Parking Garage — which will not be paid off until 2040 — and $5.5 million toward salaries, resurfacing lots and repairing lots or signage.
With the addition of the parking lots by Victory Hall and Fouts Field, the debt service will increase to $1.1 million, putting Transportation Services over its current $10 million budget. As a result, permit prices have increased.
“Either we have to make major cuts, which would mean less maintenance to the lots, which we don’t want to do, or we had to raise the prices,” Moxley said. “Looking at the budget when we added that service for those parking lots, we had to come up with the money somewhere.”
Media arts sophomore Nicholas Snyder said they were upset with an increase in parking passes they found already too expensive.
“Freshman year, I got ticketed twice for not displaying my pass on the right side of my window,” Snyder said. “I think they should make them even lower if they are going to squeeze money out of us like that even after we buy the pass. I’d pay more if they improved and built more garages were the lots are by Fry Street and the new art building. Those exterior parking lots are ugly and some of them, especially the ones they said they are still paying for, are very far from campus.”
Criminal justice senior Justin Louviere said his biggest qualm with the increase in price was the difficulty he finds with looking for a place to park.
“If the money is only coming from passes and citations, raising the prices isn’t going to matter when you simply don’t have enough room,” Louviere said. “It’s frustrating to have to pay more and more each time only to struggle to find parking every day even though we are still paying for garages and parking lots that are already finished and in use. Don’t oversell passes and charge a lot for them or find another way that doesn’t require reliance on parking pass purchases and citations.”
Computer information systems sophomore Lazayvion Hammick said he is more at ease after understanding why the permits were increasing in price.
“It’s unfortunate but we are a community and we must do what it takes to make sure everything is operating efficiently,” Hammick said. “Personally, I waste more than $25 per month, so I will have to cut down on frivolous spending and help support my school. Twenty-five dollars for a parking permit is not a big deal compared to tuition increases.”
As for commuting students who might be struggling financially, there is a parking lot at MedPark Station off of I-35 where students can park for free and ride the Colorado Express bus to campus every 20 minutes from 7:15 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. and every 40 minutes from 6:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.
“We understand that makes it more of a struggle, not only for faculty, staff and students, but our visitors and people coming in and the new students coming in,” Moxley said. “Unfortunately, to continue to function, it’s one of those necessary evil things. I’m not aware of any major projects that they have expected in the next five or so years. So given that, I’d say there’s probably not going to be any other huge increases, but that’s not definite.”
Featured Image: An Eagle Parking Permit currently costs $250 annually and the price is set to rise this fall. Image by: Will Baldwin.
Source: North Texas Daily