Members of the Associated Students Board of Directors questioned presenters on a new proposal that calls for a significant increase in the cost of parking permits, while decreasing capacity for students living on-campus.
"You mentioned that in a regular year, about 40% of residents purchase parking permits. It's estimated that there will be about 2,200 students living in housing in the fall," said Kira Dawson, the vice president of ASI.
With the new parking plan, a total of 592 resident parking permits would be issued for spaces in a new surface lot and the new Eastside North Parking Structure. Dawson pointed out that under the new plan, only 27% of student residents would have access to parking, and asked how Cal State Fullerton would handle the reduction in capacity.
Presenting for the Office of Housing and Residential Engagement, executive director Larry Martin was joined by director of Parking and Transportation Services, Kristen Jasko, to field questions at the ASI board meeting on May 3.
The new Eastside North Parking Structure will feature 1,900 parking spaces, energy-efficient LED light, elevators, a staircase and a solar canopy.
Jasko said although the new structure is being built primarily to accommodate commuter students, under this proposal, the entire top level will be designated exclusively with reserved spaces for students who purchase a resident parking permit.
"But that reserved parking does come at a premium," Martin said. "The value of that permit will be significant in that it's reserved, it's prime parking," Jasko said.
Martin said while the current parking permit is $334 per semester, come fall the new resident parking permit will be $450 per semester, and will increase $50 every year.
"That's where we're looking to increase transportation reimbursements and really encourage alternative modes of transportation," Jasko said. "As the Campus Master Plan shares that as the campus grows, and we have increased enrollment, more resident students, Transportation Demand Management programs will encourage additional funding for alternative transportation options."
However, according to CSU transportation and parking policy, campuses are responsible to take steps to seek their own funding to put in place alternative transport programs, as mandated by that policy.
Transportation reimbursements are essentially incentives to reward those who opt not to bring a vehicle to campus. Jasko said, although not finalized, the $50 per semester credit would cover the cost of alternative transportation used by students.
Mary Chammas, board of directors chair, said that would barely cover the cost of one trip to Target using a typical rideshare company. Jasko said she hoped they would be able to supplement the program by including the cost of membership to Zipcar and a designated number of free miles. Zipcar currently operates four vehicles on campus and charges $15 annually for membership, and $5.50 per mile, including gas and secondary insurance.
Board member Naman Shah said it appeared that the decisions around the parking permit increases, as well as some of those related to increases in housing costs for second year student residents, appeared to be driven more by profit than increasing accessibility of these resources to students.