Despite what it says on the parking permit dispensers around campus, no, visitors do not have to pay by space, no, students can’t get their night and weekend passes from the dispensers, and yes, Transportation & Parking Services will be improving signage.
In addition to opening new parking structures on campus, TPS has implemented several changes in the campus permit system this year, said Laura Condon, TPS associate director. The former pay-by-space method for visitor parking was changed to “pay and display,” while night and weekend permits for students now must either be picked up at the TPS office or ordered online for $4.95.
The pay-and-display system allows visitors to move their car from lot to lot without having to purchase a new pass, a feature the old method prohibited. As for the night and weekend permit, students previously received one every month through any parking lot’s ticket dispenser. Now, they must either pick one up every month at the TPS office on Stadium Road near Harder Stadium, or request an annual pass online for the roughly $5 cost, Condon said.
Night and weekend permits, which are subsidized through a $3.33 per student, per quarter lock-in fee to TPS, are valid each weekday night from 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. and each weekend from 5 p.m. on Friday to 7:30 p.m. on Monday.
The “B” or “H” permit, held by on-campus and off-campus residents respectively, will now also have the function as being a night and weekend permit, meaning these permit holders do not need to order the annual permit or walk to the TPS office, Condon said.
The $4.95 fee for the annual cling-on sticker permit goes to iParq, the company that owns The Permit Store, the website which handles online permit sales, Condon said. The fee pays for the cost incurred to make, sell and send the permits, she said.
“I would’ve loved to [waive] the $4.95 fee,” Condon said. “When we renegotiate the budget next year that might give us the option.”
Gina Fischer, a member of the Associated Students Legislative Council, said she appreciated the annual option for the permit but did not agree with the way TPS made the permits available.
“It’s great that students don’t have to worry about their permits expiring or fading in the sun,” Fischer said. “But you can’t just pass a $5 fee onto students.”
Condon said the annual stickers are not available for free at the TPS office because iParq did not provide any to give out to students.
Regardless, Fischer said shipping and handling should not cost $4.95 for standard shipping in a standard envelope, and she said she thinks iParq is making a profit without asking students.
Fischer said the two options for obtaining the permit ( online and through the TPS office ( do not make it possible to get the permit during the times students would need it, as most students only think to obtain a pass once they are in the parking lot. The TPS office would be closed by then, Fischer said.
Fischer said she plans on writing a resolution for the A.S. Leg Council that would put pressure on TPS to change the permit system.
“Students fought to get the night and weekend fee passed four years ago,” Fischer said. “We wanted this and [$9.99 per year] is how much we wanted to pay.”
Aside from the night and weekend permit, Condon said TPS has other important and upcoming developments. For one, the department is extending staff parking permit privileges to graduate student employees who work substantial hours. These students will park in the 10 Parking Structure on the east side of campus.
In addition, Condon said the west campus structure, 22 Parking, will be open sometime before the end of fall quarter. She said she hopes TPS will be able to open it up for students to park during Halloween weekend for free. During previous Halloweens, students could park on Storke Field, but will not be able to now because the San Clemente graduate student housing project is taking up the space.
Marc Fisher, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities, said the new parking structures will not greatly increase the parking capacity at UCSB as some of the recently completed campus buildings were constructed on parking lots.
“Most of the parking built is replacement parking,” Fisher said. “The new structure and the one on the east side are sized to match the need we have on campus and what we are losing due to new construction.”
Fisher said the new structure next to the Thunderdome has 1,075 spots. He said the university planned for this lot to accommodate approximately 300 cars more than what currently is needed in order to prepare for the possible effects of the Isla Vista Parking plan. The plan could go into effect sometime before the beginning of next school year.
The California Coastal Commission is slated to review the plan in November. If passed, it would require I.V. residents to purchase a $75 or $100 permit, depending on where their car is registered. In addition, the plan will install parking meters and short-term parking in downtown I.V.
Fisher said the results of a study done three years ago on parking suggested that between 300 and 1,000 people from the university park their cars in I.V. instead of on campus.
“We assume that some parkers will move from I.V. back to campus,” Fisher said. “Or if the cost is the same, they will decide to park on campus because it’s more convenient.”