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Friday, October 23, 2020

Campus

Students discuss cost of parking on campus


Tweets have emerged over the past few weeks calling for the defunding of UH Parking. | File Photo

Tweets have emerged over the past few weeks calling for the defunding of UH Parking. | File Photo

When students come to UH, there is a ruckus around extremely high parking prices and the struggle of getting a parking pass that fits their needs.

Residence Halls Association president Bryan Medrano is no exception.

Medrano spends about $900 to park on campus as a resident. 

Medrano doesn’t usually spend that much, he said. He’s used to parking in zoned lots, but since a new garage is being built where Zone C used to be, the permits ran out quicker and Medrano missed out.

As a part of the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee within the Student Government Association, Medrano understood why parking passes cost so much, but other students may not.

“In times like this, you would expect UH Parking to be more accommodating to the students. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the job market hard and has caused a number of job losses,” public health junior Arwa Hasnain said. “Prices of parking should have been reduced as a courtesy, but instead they remained at an unreasonable price level.

“UH parking needs to reevaluate the needs of students and adjust their prices.”

The department has taken measures to address the issue. Starting this semester, some parking permits have been reduced in price and payment schedules have been staggered.

Tweets have emerged over the past few weeks calling for the defunding of UH parking.

Because UH parking is a self-funded auxiliary service, all revenue generated by the department is put back into funding its operations.

When UH puts a new price on a zone or garage permit, it determining what its costs would be to operate that year and the costs to pay off loans it takes to build new garages.

The need for garages also happens to spark some frustration with students.

Over the past year, construction has been done on the former Zone C lot. This meant many students who relied on the cost effectiveness of a lot permit near Melcher Hall now either have to park further from the area or buy a garage pass. 

“I mean, you get to this point where you can’t expand out, so you expand up, right?” Medrano said. “It makes sense economically and eventually it’ll help grow the number of spots and ultimately reduce the cost.”

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Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly represented the parking department’s business operation. It has since been updated.

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