Parking on metered spaces and in the visitor lots is going to be more expensive going forward. Starting with the fall semester, prices are being raised from $0.50 for a half hour to $0.75.
These hourly prices are on top of the cost of parking pass that is already required for students to park in the regular lots during the year.
Metered lots are used for a multitude of things: getting to class on time in a pinch, running into the MUC, paying a bill at Rendleman and in other short-term situations.
In general, these are used for convenience sake. However, taxing convenience seems negative for some students.
While a seemingly innocuous change, it will add up for students who use them repeatedly. Prices are being raised by 50 percent.
Instead of paying $2 for 2 hours, it’ll be $3 now. Over the course of a few days, the price may outweigh the convenience.
Bob Vanzo, director of Administrative Services, says there is a good reason for the metered lots to increase price over parking permits or citations.
“This was one item we felt we could touch that didn’t affect everybody. It’s elective. Nobody has to use a meter, they elect to use one, whereas you have to buy a parking permit,” Vanzo said. “We would rather raise that people have an option to use, than raise prices on something that people have to use.”
The prices were raised to a round number to avoid hassles for students.
“As far as the amount, you have to look at something that is divisible enough so you can buy a certain portion of time, and that that time works. You either had to go up fifty cents, or a whole dollar,” Vanzo says.
Regardless, raising of prices may insinuate some students to take the extra walk from the regular parking lots.
“It’s not a deal breaker, but I’ll definitely be cognizant of the price and probably using the lots a lot less,” Anne Herpel, a senior-seeking degree English education major from O’Fallon, Missouri, said.
College students are generally broke, and raising these prices may do a lot of harm.
“I mean [students] are trying to save money. We’re all scraping by and having that extra expense when we need to be nearer to campus is really difficult to manage,” Herpel said.
On top of that, Herpel thinks it could potentially turn visitors off from parking on campus or visiting.
“It doesn’t only affect students, the ones required to pay to be here, but it also affects outsiders who shouldn’t really have any reason to pay for their parking just to come near the school,” Herpel said.
Some students already feel that parking on campus costs too much, and raising the pay lots will alienate some students away from them unless they are in a pinch.
“I don’t really use them except on finals week or if I’m running super late, but that does suck,” Jace Plute, a junior computer science major from Collinsville, Illinois, .
Plute is baffled by the changes as well.
“I can’t think of a good reason why they would be raising the prices. I’ll still use it for the same reasons, but it just seems silly,” Plute said.
However, Vanzo said that the increase in paid meter prices are due to Parking Services losing money on both permits and citation fees over the years.