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Friday, August 23, 2019

Opinion

Parking issues should not raise prices on students


East Garage at UH

We need a better solution to the growing parking problem. Building more parking garages to be multi-stories could help the issue, but this also raises prices for students. | File Photo/The Cougar

Walking through the food court in Student Center South, complaints of parking issues can be overheard among the chatter during breakfast time. On a typical day, after a long commute, a student at UH could spend a long time finding a parking spot. 

Student parking is an issue that should be addressed more promptly and with more than one solution.

Parking spots are limited and expensive, which is why the University is building several new garages. However, the debts should not fall on the students. 

Parking garage passes have had a substantial increase in price in the last year because, according to Parking and Transportation Services, they are increasing shuttle service and additional parking garages are being built.

Building costs should not fall on all students, but rather only those with garage permits. It may not be fancy for donors, but the University could also look to asking for private donations to help build the garages. 

The increase for a general student permit alone will rise from $370 last year to $405 by Fall 2020. In addition to price increases, there are still not enough spots. There are more than 46,000 students at this University. With a growing student body and need to build more garages, will they just keep increasing prices?

In addition to the pain of paying more for parking, other than garage parking, many lots require playing tag. University tag consists of following a person that looks like they are about to leave and asking them. This adds stress to the large commuter student body and wastes time.

An option for students includes carpooling, which the University actually offers a discount incentive for using. 

Carpooling with the COAST program offers permits to students who commute to campus with three or more other students at a lower price. It is open to full-time students who come to campus at least three days a week. Students with three people registered per car get half price off the permit.

Alternate transportation methods include using the METRO. Students can receive $27.50 each month for the METRO if they join COAST

These are valid solutions for tackling the price problem of parking on campus, but even if some people are able to coordinate with two other people to carpool, the price raise can fall on only the students with garage passes rather than all students with permits.

All-in-all, the persistent issue of parking prices is not going anywhere, especially with a growing student population. Not until a more affordable parking solution is made available.

Opinion Editor Maryam Baldawi is a biology junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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