Parking issues addressed at ASI meeting

In Campus News, News
ASI President Michael Badal listens to the presentation given on the parking issues faced around campus.  (Yunuen Bonaparte / Daily Titan)
ASI President Michael Badal listens to the presentation given on the parking issues faced around campus.
(Yunuen Bonaparte / Daily Titan)

Kristen Jasko, Interim Director of Parking and Transportation Services, met with students Tuesday after the Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors received comments about the campus’ inadequate parking services and the new $96 fee for bus passes at their recent “Breakfast with the Board” event.

ASI hoped to find answers to these concerns, inviting Jasko to its board meeting Tuesday. Jasko covered topics such as the University Bus Pass Program, Bike Sharing Program and other transportation alternatives.

ASI’s first point was whether or not Parking Services had any short-term solutions to space availability.

Jasko said that at this time, stacked parking is “the best option that we have available to us, and it’s the most convenient.”

Parking and Transportation services previously only offered the valet stacked parking in Lots A and G, but now offers the service in Lot E as well, Jasko said. She also said that the current parking demand is manageable among those three stacked zones.

Jasko also touched on the proposal of having campus shuttles to ferry students who park in lots away from campus.
While the school did offer shuttles in the past, the cost for the service was expensive, Jasko said.

“The last time we had shuttles from lots A and G it was about $230,000 a year,” she said.

It comes down to how economical the service would be, Jasko said. At $230,000 a year, she wondered whether or not the money could be used for other programs.

“We’ve actually talked about partnering with ASI to do pedicabs,” said Jasko. “Students didn’t want to walk and they wanted to have that option of coming closer to campus.”

Jasko also said she is currently looking into having a bike sharing program on campus, a concept which was previously run throughout Fullerton by the Orange County Transport Authority. This proved to be unsuccessful, most likely due to the costs involved, she said.

Jumping back to public transportation, ASI asked about the department’s recent increase on university bus pass prices. Bus passes obtained from the university will cost $96 starting in the spring 2016 semester, according to the university’s Parking and Transportation Services website. The pass used to be free of charge and completely subsidized by the school.

Jasko said that the reason for the increase is because the cost of the U-Pass program has increased significantly.
At its inception in 2003, Parking and Transportation allocated $25 to each U-Pass card, Jasko said. Each swipe of the card only cost Parking and Transportation 75 cents.

“That cost is now $1.75 per swipe, or a maximum cap of $45,” said Jasko.

Jasko said that only about 18 percent of students use the U-Pass for its full value, so increasing the price still provides a great subsidy for students who need it and also frees up money to explore other commuter alternatives.

Another main concern students had was the steep prices for parking permits, a fee which Jasko said goes directly to Parking and Transportation, since they have no state funding.

“Our parking permit fee goes directly to fund our parking program,” said Jasko. “The revenue received from parking tickets goes directly to fund our transportation programs, which are things like the U-Pass program, bike share programs, anything that has to do with that.”

Parking and Transportation will continue to provide feedback at the University Affairs Committee meeting, Oct. 22 at 1:15 p.m. and the upcoming Executive Senate meeting.

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