The price of a student parking permit at San Diego State was raised to $162 this semester. That’s up $30 from spring 2015.
SDSU’s parking services sent a campus-wide email in June to tell students the prices for parking permits were going to be raised this semester. Reasons for the rate increase include road maintenance, resurfacing and upgrades to comply with American Disability Act regulations.
Some students, including Hope Fletcher, a sophomore English major, were angered by the price raise.
“The parking permit cost increase has infuriated me to say the least,” Fletcher said. “The day the administration tells me up front that they’re building another structure, I’ll gladly give them more money, but they’re not, to the extent of my knowledge. So yes, I’m going to complain about a $30 increase applied to all commuters.”
While the increase was a shock to many student commuters, Director of Parking and Support Services Debbie Richeson said the main reason for the $30 bump was a way for parking services to adapt and adjust to changing laws and regulations.
The school is required to keep money in reserve to mitigate the impact of a catastrophe, like an earthquake. That reserve has been slowly running out as SDSU hasn’t increased the parking permit price in 10 years.
Richeson said the school is utilizing more means of communication to attempt to ensure a less chaotic and stressful parking experience for students. This summer Richeson created a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account for parking services. Those are used to give live updates to students about the current parking situation on and around campus.
The school recently began using the large message board visible from Interstate 8 to alert students coming off the freeway to which parking structures were full or open.
“Today we did something we had never done before,” Richeson said. “On the big message board sign we put that the west side lots were full, so students getting off the freeway would know to go to the east side.”
Richeson said although the social media accounts and large-message-board alerts are just short-term solutions to the parking problems, she hopes new developments in technology create more efficient long-term solutions.
Parking services created the Aztec Parking Portal for students to purchase permits easier.
“When you buy that permit online, you have the ability to print a temporary permit that you can put on your car while you are waiting for your permit,” Richeson said. “That is a new service we have never had before. It also requires you put your license plate information in, so with this solution the parking officers in real time can see that you own a permit.”
Richeson said this new technology allows parking officers to tie the permits to the cars and allow for better customer service with the university.