On campus, nights and weekends are no longer a parking free-for-all.
In an attempt to keep annual on-campus parking costs down, UCSB Transportation and Parking Services started charging the public for night and weekend parking at the beginning of last July. UCSB undergraduate students approved a $3.33 per-student per-quarter night and weekend parking lock-in fee last spring, allowing all undergraduate students to receive night and weekend passes for free.
The new policy is meant to distribute the increasing cost of lot maintenance among all users, including people using the lots after 5 p.m. for functions such as sporting events, lectures or theater performances, Transportation and Parking Services Director Tom Roberts said. Prior to the implementation of the night and weekend fees, only those parking between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. – most of whom were university employees – had to pay for parking. Because of budgetary concerns, the university had to increase revenue from parking to fund maintenance of lots and construction of new parking structures.
“If everyone pays something, the rest of our rates will not have to go up,” Roberts said.
The new policy helped Parking Services avoid a $70.00 increase in annual student parking permits, Roberts said.
While the new policy might keep parking rates low for students, employees and the public, Roberts said the revenue generated from the lock-in fee totals about $60,000, $20,000 less than the cost of lighting the parking lots each year. Additional money collected from the public from night and weekend parking between July 1 and Sept. 30 totaled $37,671. This amount does not include the sale of bulk permit purchases by groups and departments and is much lower than an average quarter’s worth of sales will total, Roberts said.
Some students do not approve of the new policy, though.
“I like having the freedom to park wherever I want on the weekends, but it’s a pain for my friends to pay when they come to visit,” freshman mechanical engineering major Kevin O’Donnell said.
Roberts said the new parking policy was made with student interests in mind.
“We are trying to be responsive to the needs of students,” Roberts said.
Students interested in picking up their monthly night and weekend parking passes should be able to obtain one by using their Access Cards at the automated parking dispensers located around campus or by going to the Transportation and Parking Services office.