PayByPhone, permit price changes shake up campus parking


File photo.

by Bella Ross, News Editor

Drivers pulling into San Diego State’s parking lots this fall will notice the old guest parking pay stations have vanished.

In July, SDSU began replacing the pay stations with the PayByPhone program, which allows users to “pay for parking in seconds” according to the Parking and Transportation Services website.

The campus parking website said the new program offers students the ability to end their parking session from anywhere and get notified when their session is about to expire. The program also differs from using parking pay stations in that it requires the driver’s license plate number, thus eliminating the need for paper permits.

“I remember once, I was doing something in a lab and our experiment took longer (than we thought it would) so I could just add on the time (in the app),” biology junior Megan Sterling said.

English junior Kari Webb said she was a supporter of retiring paper permits in exchange for this new program.

“I think it will be better (in the long run),” Webb said. “It will save a lot of paper, which is good.”

In an email response, Parking and Transportation Services Director Debbie Richeson said the program had been used previously on campus in three visitor parking lots. Since then, 10 pay stations have been officially retired to make way for the new feature, leaving only four on campus.

And that’s not the only change parking at SDSU has seen this summer.

Hourly parking prices experienced an increase as of July 1, from $2 per hour and $10 per day to $3 per hour and $15 per day, according to the campus parking website.

Those who regularly commute to campus will see similar increases in parking permit pricing. Commuter permits increased from $168 to park for the semester to $171, and overnight student permits increased from $266 per semester to $271, according to an email from Richeson.

Richeson said the increases are in accordance with a five-year plan for increasing parking pricing, which is currently in its fourth year. She also said additional stress on parking funds had been created by the construction of the South Campus Plaza Garage.

“We created a five-year plan to ensure we were obtaining enough funds to cover our bond debt on three garages and to start doing much needed maintenance for our lots and structures,” Richeson said. “The president approved the five-year plan and so we have been implementing it.”

While students have generally opposed any potential increases to parking costs, they may be pleased to learn funds received from parking are legally required to be used towards parking-related expenses, Richeson said.