With fall semester classes well underway, the last thing anybody needs is a parking ticket.
“We don’t want students to worry about parking, we would rather have them focus on their education,” says Rick Medley, manager of Parking Services at Salt Lake Community College.
Medley, who works closely with the college’s public safety and business administrators, has helped usher in some changes, some of which pertain to parking fee structures.
According to Parking Services supervisor Clay Ollila, the annual parking permit will maintain its price of $45. However, the new set of fee changes means single day permits increase from $1 to $2, 30-day permits increase from $5 to $10 and semester permits increase from $20 to $23. Additionally, the weekly permit has been abolished entirely.
Regarding the fee increase in daily permits, Ollila says, “the change around the daily permits were made so that online pricing would fall in line with kiosk prices.”
However, Ollila suggests that, at minimum students buy a semester permit, adding that a semester permit reduces the chance of receiving a citation when a 30-day permit expires.
Meanwhile, the 30-day permit fee change was spurred on by some permit buyers taking advantage of the system, choosing to renew consecutive monthly permits instead of purchasing one for the semester.
“It wasn’t fair to those who purchased a semester pass for there to be a loophole, so [the increase] effectively closed that loophole,” says Medley, adding “it’s definitely a deterrent.”
That said, while a semester pass may suit some permit buyers, from a financial perspective, Medley points out the advantages of purchasing an annual permit.
Although the annual permit gives the permit holder three semesters of parking, it is still $1 less than purchasing two semester-long permits, and $24 less than three consecutive semester permits, notes Medley.
Regardless, he remains adamant that Parking Services does not anticipate more fee changes.
“We don’t have future plans to raise prices any further and we certainly don’t want students to pay an astronomical fee,” states Medley.
The increase in parking permit prices isn’t for nothing either.
Four years ago, Utah Transit Authority established a partnership with colleges and universities in Utah that provided free bus and transit passes to active students. In exchange for complimentary student passes, UTA enacted a transportation fee on these schools, one of which was SLCC.
“Someone has to pay for [the transit passes], so some of it rests on tuition dollars and some on parking services,” says Medley.
Prior to the SLCC-UTA partnership and transportation fee, adds Medley, the day and month permits had never been raised.
On a more personal note, Medley wants all to know that their aim at Parking Services is for students, faculty and staff to have a smooth customer experience. One of the keys to this is the online portal, rolled out by Parking Services in 2017.
“For the sake of time and convenience the [new] process is 100% easier than what we had before,” says Medley. “Generally, even with a negative experience – meaning someone’s been cited – once they see the ease of the system and how they can navigate it on their own at whatever time they want, it takes some pressure off.”
Visit the Parking Services website to learn more about the different parking permits and the online portal.