This semester, UNT Transportation lowered citation fees for anybody who parks on campus, including guests.
According to a graphic posted on the UNT Transportation Twitter account, the first citation may not result in a fee if the ticket is appealed. The first citation may cost $12, as well as the second citation. A third citation costs $35, and a fourth is $70. Some violations, such as, game day towing, stolen permits or parking in a reserved ADA space will result in higher fees.
The lowered fees were created as an attempt to help lessen the financial burden on students.
“I think sometimes there’s the impression that we have specific goals we’re trying to make with money in terms of permit prices, but that’s not the case,” Senior Communications Specialist Margarita Venegas said. “Really, this came about simply because we didn’t want to see people having these $35 tickets that continue to increase with late fees and late charges because they can’t pay $35 to begin with. So maybe if we can make it easier, then they’ll pay it right then, or they’ll have more awareness that they can file an appeal.”
Another goal of the lower fees was to help create opportunities to build better relationships with students.
“The logic was simply just open the pathways of communication,” Senior Communications Specialist George Stieren said. “If you get what you see is a hefty fine, you’re probably going to ignore it, you know, it’s human nature. So we want to open up the pathways of communication.”
French and music senior Daniel Whitfield received a citation on the first day of this semester after parking in an Eagle lot without a permit.
“I agree with the lowered parking citation prices, however, it’s more of a temporary fix rather than a permanent solution,” Whitfield said. “Transportation hasn’t been very communicative and it can be a bit frustrating knowing that some of their policies haven’t been utilized.”
Whitfield said “the amount of parking passes sold to the availability of parking spots” are the main issue facing UNT transportation.
“There have been many times where I’ll arrive, find no parking in the lots appropriated for the students, and end up parking across Carroll Blvd. at the community market or elsewhere,” Whitfield said.
Transportation has been urging people to consider parking in the newly renovated Fouts Field/Lot 20 area.
“We haven’t run out of parking any day this semester,” Stieren said. “It’s there, it just might not be when you’re [arriving at] 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday or Thursday. It’s probably not going to be in your prime spot that you’re hoping for.”
Changes in citation fees may change again in the future.
“We’ll get to May, and it’ll give us a chance to look back on the past year and see how much of a difference was that made, and hopefully we find that it did make a difference,” Venegas said. “We’d rather get phone calls from people and people reaching out, than people ignoring their citations and not paying them, and then finding on the back end that they can’t get their transcripts or something like that because they’ve got this debt. We don’t want that hanging over their heads… If we get to the end of the year and it had no effect, and people are getting just as many tickets and racking them up even more, then maybe we need to find a different alternative, but if this actually had an impact and effect, then maybe this is where it needs to be.”
Stieren said UNT Transportation does not want students to receive repeat citations but they “want to correct what went wrong in the first place.”
“We’re protecting you,” Stieren said. “We’re protecting the value for what you purchase. Writing citations is never going to go away, but we have the bike program, a free Lyft ride from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., E-Ride helping with this, you know, a lot of other programs that are a hundred percent positive that we want to talk about. We’re not just the people who write tickets.”
Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas