Students using their ACCESS Cards to pay for on-campus parking for single daily use must now have enough money on the card to pay for the pass.
Beginning March 1, Transportation & Parking Services (TPS) no longer allows students to charge day passes for on-campus parking fees to their BARC accounts. A notification of the policy change has been placed on the bottom of each receipt, and e-mail messages will be sent through U-Mail within the next couple of days, said Tana Lucido, TPS assistant to the director. The new policy electronically checks students’ ACCESS Card accounts to ensure they have enough money to pay for a day pass. If not, the student would be denied a pass, Lucido said.
Lucido said the new policy would help the department save money.
“We have to pay a fee to BARC with every transaction,” Lucido said. “We need to maximize our income.”
The stricter policy is also a result of students abusing the machines when they were first installed, Lucido said. Students would use the machines to get free passes for friends and family.
“In the beginning we were giving a lot of leeway,” said Elena Ricci, a TPS financial specialist. “People were over-using, getting four, five, six passes in one day. We want them to understand that if you are going to park here, you have to pay for it.”
Night and weekend parking permits have not changed, and students can still receive a free monthly pass with a swipe of their ACCESS Card, Lucido said. Each student currently pays a $3.33 lock-in fee every quarter to receive free night and weekend parking.
Since implementing the new policy, Lucido said there have been problems, but each one can be dealt with on an individual basis.
“The bulk of people [having problems] are people in the database but are not in the ACCESS Card database or haven’t paid fees in the Registrar’s Office,” she said.
The new policy is part of a UC-wide effort, and the department implemented the program after reviewing the success rate of other campuses with similar policies, Ricci said. The Pay Station Project, named after the machines that distribute the permits, began in July of 2003.
Each pay station is connected to the main system through wireless technology and uses power gathered from solar panels, Lucido said.
Since installing the stations, other campuses are following suit, Lucido said. UCLA, UCSD and Cal State Fullerton are among those who are planning to implement similar policies.
“We were the first to go wireless and solar – no one in the country had done that,” she said. “A great many are copying our system,” she said.
Ricci said the department plans to provide more help and outreach for the students to address their concerns.
“We do want students to understand how the machines work,” she said. “The people need a person to come to for help,” she said.
Questions regarding the new policy can be directed to Ricci at (805) 893-4258 or Lucido at (805) 893-8731. Students who have received parking tickets can appeal them at www.tps.ucsb.edu.