Dear Campus Community,
I'm David Zitser, the Associated Students Inc. President, and I've been quoted in a recent University Times article regarding the increase of Parking Permits in anticipation of the Parking Structure. There was some confusion on some of the details of the paper that hopefully this statement can address. First thing I want to make clear is that the Parking & Transportation Department is completely self-sustaining. What that means is that their only sources of revenue come from Parking Permits and Parking Citations. They do not receive any money from our tuition, and they need to create room in their own budgets for big projects. In order for a big project such as the Parking Structure to be built, additional revenue had to be created which resulted in a series of parking permit increases starting off from a few years back. At the same time, the U-Pass is another big project that was pioneered by the department of Parking & Transportation and is a deal struck with Metro where the University is charged $230 per student enrolled in the U-Pass Pilot Program. The funds to pay that $230 rate come from the $125 each student pays for it, external subsidies from the Associated Students Inc. (A.S.I.) & the University Student Union (USU) (Both non-profit auxiliary organizations based on campus), and the remaining gap that's owed to Metro comes from the Parking & Transportation Department's revenue of parking citations. Parking citations also cover other services such as the shuttles, but due to increased demand of the U-Pass, shuttle frequency had to be cut down to make enough room in the budget, and even then, the U-Pass cost had to be increased from $95 (Spring 2016) to $125 (Fall 2017) to cover the cost of the U-Pass Program. Second misconception that is important to clear up is that construction begins in the SUMMER not in the Spring. 500 spaces will be closed during the construction, but construction doesn't begin until the Spring. Finally, the PowerPoint given to the University Times contained a tentative schedule with tentative numbers that I obtained during the Summer and should in no way be used against Parking & Transportation's numbers and dates because those are bound to be much more accurate than mine are as plans and specific details such as pricing and the time table are bound to change. I still do stand with my comment that undertaking two big projects such as the U-Pass and the new Parking Structure put a strain on the Parking & Transportation Department's budget resulting in the reduction of other services such as the frequency of shuttles. In that regard, I believe it would've been better financially to finish one of these projects before beginning another. However, as demand for Parking increases, pursuing alternative means of transportation while also constructing a new parking structure are important initiatives that couldn't wait.
David Zitser, A.S.I. President