$10 more a semester for Parking Services

UAA’s Parking Services has proposed that $10 be added to the list of student fees at the beginning of every semester.

“We are asking USUAA’s support,” said Bob McDonnell, director of Parking Services, “because the fees for the U-Pass system and the campus shuttles are getting more expensive.”

He said that UAA parking services has no state funding – the majority of funding is generated by parking permit sales, and the remainder is from parking citations and meters.

Parking Services’ records show that based on an annual enrollment of 35,913 students, $10 a semester from every student would generate an annual $359,130. $250,000 of this would be used for the shuttle service and to buy a spare shuttle. $80,000 would be used to support the U-Pass system, and the remaining $29,130 would be used to back up the University Police Department’s various safety programs.

Future plans for Parking Services include residential shuttle routes close to campus, weather-resistant shuttle shelters for students, extended hours to cover later classes and a new loop road that will allow for more efficient shuttle service around campus.

McDonnell said Parking Services is also looking into GPS tracking of shuttles, so it would be possible to see where each individual shuttle is.

Parking Services is also making an effort to encourage cleaner transportation by adding additional bike racks to multiple buildings, as well as secure storage lockers.

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“Art students are working with the Bike Club to make art out of the bike racks,” McDonnell said. “It might depend on the building what the statues looked like. They might turn a bike rack next to the Cuddy Center into a chef carrying a tray, for example, and his legs would be the (original) bike rack.”

Parking Services is also considering building a sheltered bike rack near housing, to protect bicycles from the weather. Students would be able to use this bike shelter for an additional $30 a month.

“We do need improvements at the university,” said Dee Blumer, a sophomore in foreign languages. “Our bike racks are rusted and falling apart, because people are practically running over them, and we could use the extra money for gas for the shuttles, since gas prices are going up.”

To encourage students to use nonpolluting transportation, Parking Services will be selling discounted permits to those whose vehicles remain parked at housing in the fall 2008 semester.

Parking Services and People Mover will also be promoting Share-A-Ride in the fall.

McDonnell pointed out that Share-A-Ride would free up more garage parking spots and help the economy.

The van used would have 13 passenger airplane seats available for $115 a month per person. A parking spot would be reserved for the bus, he said, and the driver would drive free of charge.