Residents of on-campus housing will now return to paying the nonaffiliated rate of $15 per day
By SYDNEY AMESTOY — firstname.lastname@example.org
On-campus residents who drive to campus, including those who live at the Green at West Village, can expect a price increase in their Parkmobile daily parking bill, according to information on the Transportation Services (TAPS) website.
This change comes as TAPS has switched on-campus resident drivers from the affiliated rate of $3.50, which they received access to during the pandemic, to the nonaffiliated rate of $15 that they paid pre-pandemic. Those living in residence halls and in on-campus apartments were informed of the switch through their student email accounts before the change occurred.
On-campus residents paying the nonaffiliate rate is a policy that is not new, but was only temporarily changed, according to the executive director of the service, Dr. Perry Eggleston.
“Since the campus was on reduced operations due to the pandemic, University leadership allowed Transportation Services to offer affiliate rates to residents these past two years,” Eggleston said via email. “Now that the campus population and vehicles have returned, the University leadership asked us to reinstate the policy.”
TAPS encourages students to use alternative transportation to get around campus to avoid the daily charge, according to Eggleston.
“Resident students have access to Unitrans, biking, walking, and other travel amenities,” Eggleston said. “Thus, storing their cars on campus only adds to the traffic congestion with the return to ‘normal’ operations.”
The ASUCD Senate had this issue brought to their attention by Senator Vaneza Gonzaga during the open discussion period of the Oct. 6 senate meeting.
“A lot of students have gone into this academic year planning on driving everyday, so that’s the investment they’ve made with their cars and such, so if it’s going to be $15, that’s extremely expensive,” Senator Gonzaga said. “Bikes are also expensive, which is one of the solutions they offered as an alternative.”
Senator Zeph Schnelbach also shared their thoughts during the discussion.
“[Transportation Services] sees it that if you live on campus, you don’t need to have a car, but I would like to remind the table that the Green is over a mile away from campus,” Senator Schnelbach said during the meeting.
Senate discussion continued on the topic during the Oct. 13 meeting regarding what, if any, action the senate would take about the reinstatement of the policy.
“I asked the internal vice president [JT Eden] for an update on the plans, and we are currently planning for some reps from transportation services to come to a meeting so we can ask them questions about the increase,” Senator Gonzaga said. “[We want] to see if there are solutions that work with TAPS and are still fair for students living on campus.”
As defined by UC Regents and State of California documents on UC auxiliaries, which TAPS is according to their website, an auxiliary must be self-supporting without state budget support. The TAPS website also states that parking citations and passes help the service afford to continue functioning and providing service on campus.
“Increasing rates was a financial necessity to manage Transportation Services’ revenue losses during the pandemic,” Eggleston said. “The rate increase partly stems from the success of our long-term strategy to reduce vehicle trips to campus by encouraging all modes of sustainable transportation, including biking.”
Written by: Sydney Amestoy — email@example.com